Warriors Hold On For First-Ever Win Over Spartans

Photo Credit: Donelle Barbian
Photo Credit: Donelle Barbian

AURORA, Ill. - The Wisconsin Lutheran College softball team saw its six-game winning streak come to an end Tuesday as it split its final conference road doubleheader with Aurora at Stuart Sportsplex. After falling to the Spartans 8-4 in game one, the Warriors hung on for 2-1 victory in game two for their first-ever win over AU in 16 games.

Game two's score was deadlocked at 0-0 until the fourth when both teams finally got on the board. The Warriors' Brittney Blazich (Bristol, Wis./Westosha Central) started off the fourth with a double and advanced to third during the following at-bat. Blazich was then brought home on a single by Jinny Curtis (Muskego, Wis./Wisconsin Lutheran). Two batters later, a single to centerfield by Alicia Barbian (Waterford, Wis./Waterford) scored Abby Wichgers (Muskego, Wis./Muskego) from second, making the lead 2-0 in favor of WLC.

Aurora responded in the bottom of the inning as Sarah Clauser scored on a passed ball. The story of game two was defense, however, as Wisconsin Lutheran held on for the 2-1 win. Both teams combined for just 10 hits and left 13 runners on base in the nightcap.

Kendra Thomas (Jenison, Mich./Jenison) pitched all 7.0 innings for her league-best 19th win of the season as she gave up only four hits, walked three, and recorded three strike outs. Blazich finished 2-for-4 with one run, Barbian was 1-for-2 with an RBI, and Emily Sievert (Mukwonago, Wis./Mukwonago) went 2-for-3.

Natalie Zanella took the loss for Aurora as she gave up two runs on six hits with two strike outs. Sarah Clauser finished the game 1-for-2 with run scored for the Spartans.

The Spartans came out hot in game one as they tallied seven runs through the first two innings to take a 7-0 lead. Aurora kept Wisconsin Lutheran scoreless through 5.0 innings before Blazich stole home in the sixth to make the score 7-1. Aurora answered right back with a run of its own to extend its lead to 8-1.

The Warriors made one last effort in the seventh with two outs. Wichgers, pinch running for Barbian, scored off of a Blazich single to right field. Blazich and Mindy Schalinske (Burlington, Wis./Shoreland Lutheran) scored on an error during the next at-bat to make the score 8-4. The Spartans hung on to their lead to take the 8-4 victory.

Thomas suffered the loss in game one as she surrendered eight runs on 10 hits. Blazich finished 2-for-4 with two runs and one RBI. Morgan O'Hanlon (Lowell, Ind./Lowell) also added two RBI for the Warriors.

Vanessa Hartzell recorded the victory in the circle for Aurora allowing four runs on five hits, five strike outs, and only two walks. Clauser and Mandey Shrader led the Spartans at the plate by going 2-for-4 with 2 RBI and one run and 3-for-4 with one RBI and two runs, respectively. Logan Cahill finished 1-for-2 with two RBI and also scored a run for the Spartans (21-11, 15-3 NACC).

The Warriors (22-14, 12-6 NACC) return home to Neumann Family Fields Friday to host Rockford (8-22, 4-14 NACC). First pitch of the doubleheader is set for 3 p.m.