MONTGOMERY, Ill. (WLCSports.com) – The Wisconsin Lutheran College softball team split against the host Aurora Spartans in their first NACC action on the road Monday afternoon, winning game one 3-2 before falling 6-5 in the nightcap. The win in game one marked the third-ever victory for the Warriors over the Spartans.
- Final Scores: Wisconsin Lutheran 3, Aurora 2; Aurora 6, Wisconsin Lutheran 5
- Records: Wisconsin Lutheran (6-10, 1-3 NACC), Aurora (10-6, 1-1 NACC)
- Location: Spartan Athletic Park, Montgomery, Ill.
GAME 1 HIGHLIGHTS
- The Warriors struck first in the second inning when Melissa Ericson (Lisle, Ill.) singled, driving home Taylor Bjork (Horicon, Wis.), who singled up the middle to start the inning.
- The Spartans answered back in the bottom of the third inning with a two-out double, followed by two straight singles and a throwing error to take a 2-1 lead.
- Karah Ritacco (Chicago, Ill.) led off the top of the sixth inning with a single to right center then Bjork followed with a single of her own. Ellen Davis (Greendale, Wis.) stepped up to the plate and ripped a double to left field, scoring Ritacco to tie the contest at 2-2.
- Ericson drew a two-out walk to keep the inning alive then Brea Johnson (Cumberland, Wis.) singled to right field, driving in what turned out to be the go-ahead run.
- Aurora threatened in the bottom of the sixth inning by putting two runners on with two outs, but Abby Mahsem (South Milwaukee, Wis.) struck out the final batter of the inning to preserve the 3-2 lead.
- Mahsem struck out the leadoff hitter in the bottom of the seventh and then forced two groundouts to end the contest.
- Davis, Ericson and Johnson drove in runs for WLC while Mahsem earned the win with a complete game, allowing just one earned run with six punchouts. The complete game effort marked the sixth of the season for the junior hurler, including her third straight game going 7.0 innings.
GAME 2 HIGHLIGHTS
- The Warriors opened game two with a run in the top of the first inning after Gracie Wilson (Deerfield, Wis.) started the inning with single then scored on a sacrifice bunt from Bjork.
- AU answered in the bottom half with a leadoff double, followed by a single and a triple that plated two runs for the Spartans in the first.
- Aurora added to its lead in the bottom of the second with three singles in the inning, taking a 3-1 lead then added one more in the bottom of the third to push the lead to 4-1.
- In the top of the fifth, Kylie Stewart (Ocoee, Fla.) opened the inning with a single to left field then Megan Belongia (Ashwaubenon, Wis.) pinch ran and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Wilson and Ritacco hit back-to-back singles, scoring Belongia. Davis picked up two RBIs when she ripped a single up the middle, scoring Ritacco and Wilson for a 5-4 Warriors lead.
- The Spartans tied the contest in the bottom of the fifth inning after a leadoff single, followed by a double to center field and then a sacrifice fly.
- The Warriors were unable to put any runners on base in the sixth or seventh innings.
- Aurora loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh inning and the winning run crossed the plate on an RBI groundout, giving AU the 6-5 walk-off victory.
- Mahsem took the loss in game two, allowing two runs over 2+ innings, striking out five.
FOR THE FOES
- Nina Tholl posted a 3-for-3 effort, driving in one run for the Spartans in game one.
- Britni Wilson took the loss in game one, allowing three runs over 5+ innings pitched.
- Five different Spartans collected multiple hits in game two and Hannah Tomasko earned the win with a complete game, allowing five runs and striking out seven.
- The Warriors travel to Ripon Thursday for a non-conference doubleheader matchup. The Red Hawks (8-14) last swept Beloit Friday. Live stats and video will be available for both games at WLCSports.com.