MILWAUKEE - It wasn't the homecoming they had planned as the Wisconsin Lutheran College softball team eagerly awaited playing on its home turf for the first time in 2015, but the league-leading Aurora Spartans swept the Warriors 8-0 and 7-1 in Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference action Sunday afternoon at Neumann Family Softball Field.
- Final Scores: Aurora 8, Wisconsin Lutheran 0 (5 Inn.); Aurora 7, Wisconsin Lutheran 1
- Records: Wisconsin Lutheran (12-21, 4-14 NACC), Aurora (27-5, 18-0 NACC)
- Location: Neumann Family Softball Field, Milwaukee, Wis. | Attendance: 65
GAME 1 HIGHLIGHTS
- The Spartans strung together four two-run innings in the opener as they scored in the first, third, fourth, and fifth frames.
- WLC struggled offensively as AU starting pitcher Vanessa Hartzell struckout the first seven batters she faced and finished with 12 Ks for the game.
- Anna Kuske (Orange Park, Fla./Luther Preparatory) provided the only two hits of the game for the Warriors, singling in the third and fifth innings.
- The game ended after 5.0 complete as Aurora held the 8-0 advantage.
GAME 2 HIGHLIGHTS
- Aurora struck first again in game two with a single run in the first inning off two hits. The Spartans added three in the third and two more in the fourth for the 6-0 lead.
- Wisconsin Lutheran got its first run of the day on an RBI sac bunt from Emily Held (Burlington, Wis./Shoreland Lutheran) that plated Kaitlyn Robison (Andalusia, Ill./Rockridge).
- Following two scoreless frames, AU plated its final run in the seventh on an infield single. WLC was retired in order in its half of the seventh as the Spartans upped their conference record to 18-0.
- Sadie Schmidt (Kenosha, Wis./Tremper) allowed eight runs (six earned) in 5.0 innings to fall to 8-13 in the circle.
- Mandey Schrader, Larkin Langston, Vanessa Wegner, and Lauren Huebner had two hits each for the Spartans in game one.
- Hartzell gave up just two hits and fanned 12 of the 18 batters she faced in 5.0 innings of work for AU.
- Tara Degl'Innocenti (Lisle, Ill./Naperville North) went 2-for-3 for the Warriors in game two. Robison and Niki Cottini (Plainfield, Ill./North) had the other two hits for the Warriors.
- WLC hurler Libby Larsen (Menasha, Wis./Menasha) tossed all 7.0 innings and allowed seven runs while walking five and striking out five.
- Schrader and Steph Starr had three hits each for the Spartans, who collected 12 in game two.
- Natalie Zanella gave up just one run on four hits in 7.0 innings of work for AU in the circle.
- The games wrapped up a busy 12-game stretch for the Warriors, who played every day this past week except Wednesday.
- Wisconsin Lutheran plays its final regular season home games Thursday when it hosts 10th-ranked North Central (Ill.) (23-3) in non-conference action at 3 p.m.