KISSIMMEE, Fla. (WLCSports.com) – Abby Mahsem (South Milwaukee, Wis.) collected two wins while striking out 14 batters as the Wisconsin Lutheran College softball team earned two victories on its opening day at the Sunkissed Games in Kissimmee, Florida. The Warriors defeated Wheaton (Mass.) 6-3 in game one and downed Eastern Conn. St. 7-6 in the second contest of the day.
- Final Scores: Wisconsin Lutheran 6, Wheaton (Mass.) 3; Wisconsin Lutheran 7, Eastern Conn. St. 6
- Records: Wisconsin Lutheran (2-0), Wheaton (Mass.) (1-4), Eastern Conn. St (1-2)
- Location: Osceola Softball Complex, Kissimmee, Fla.
GAME 1 HIGHLIGHTS
- The Warriors jumped out to an early lead in the top of the first when Rebecca Foster (Spring, Texas) reached on an error by the pitcher allowing Megan Belongia (Ashwaubenon, Wis.) to score from second base.
- Wheaton responded with two runs in the top of the second inning and followed with one in the third to take a 3-1 lead.
- After Gracie Wilson (Deerfield, Wis.) and Jessie Rago (Elgin, Ill.) reached on errors, Foster laced a ball to left field, driving in the two runners and tying the contest at 3-3.
- Karah Ritacco (Chicago, Ill.) followed Foster's lead with a two-RBI single of her own to push WLC's lead to 5-3.
- In the top of the fifth inning. Belognia singled, driving in Melissa Ericson (Lisle, Ill.) to give the Warriors a three-run lead.
- Mahsem earned the victory with a complete game, allowing two earned runs and striking out eight Wheaton batters.
- Belongia reached base in all four at-bats while driving in one run.
- Foster and Ritacco each drove in two runs in the victory.
GAME 2 HIGHLIGHTS
- Eastern Conn. St. opened the game with two runs in the top of the first after a sacrifice fly and an RBI double from Crysta Wolski.
- WLC answered with three runs of its own in the bottom of the first after Arianna Sanchez (Itasca, Ill.) stole second, allowing Belongia to score on the throw, then Ritacco scored off a throwing error by the catcher. Taylor Bjork (Horicon, Wis.) dropped down a suicide squeeze to score Ritacco for the final run for the Warriors in the first inning.
- ECSU scored two runs in the top of the third after an RBI single from Wolski and a single from Christine Guyette scored Wolski.
- Belongia walked to open the bottom of the third inning, then Sanchez reached on a bunt single, advancing Belongia to second base. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch then Ritacco plated Belongia off of a sacrifice fly to center field, tying the game at 4-4.
- Bjork put WLC ahead 6-4 after she blasted a two-run homerun over the left field fence in the bottom of the third inning.
- ECSU tied the contest at 6-6after Alexis Tyrell hit an RBI double to left center and Kat Devolve drove her in with a base hit up the middle.
- In the bottom of the sixth, Maddie Lindemann (Watertown, Wis.) collected her second hit of the game to lead off the inning, and advanced to third with two outs. Sanchez stepped up to the plate and ripped a single up the middle to score Lindemann, giving WLC a 7-6 lead.
- Mahsem stepped into the circle and sat down ECSU in order in the top of the seventh, including striking out the last two batters, to close out the game.
- Mahsem earned the win, pitching four innings and only allowing one hit, while striking out six.
- Bjork went 2-for-3 in the game, driving in three runs, while Belongia and Sanchez each scored twice.
FOR THE FOES
- Lindsay Whittles went 3-for-4 with one RBI and one run for Wheaton while four others collected hits in the contest.
- Jade Assad took the loss for the Lyons, allowing five runs, with only one earned run, in 3.2 innings of work.
- Morgan Bolduk, Tyrrell, and Wolski each collected three hits for ECSU in game two, while Wolksi drove in two runs.
- Haleigh Cardello earned the loss, allowing one earned run in 3.2 innings.
- The Warriors continue play in the Sunkissed Games Tuesday when they face Utica (1-3) and Marietta (3-4). First pitch is scheduled for 8:00 a.m. CST against Utica.