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Falcon women’s softball team on fire in Florida

March 27, 2008

While people in the Midwest were shoveling snow over spring break, the UW-River Falls softball team was racking up the W’s at the Rebel Spring Games in Kissimmee, Fla. The Falcons opened their trip with a 9-5 loss to Montclair State, but then stepped it up and won the next seven consecutive games.

The 2-0, 10 inning shutout victory over Rowan University was a highlight for the Falcons at the games. UWRF scored two runs on four hits with only one error while Rowan University was unable to record any runs but managed three hits and made one error. Emily Howlett’s double in the top of the tenth gave UWRF the 1-0 lead as Mindy Rudiger, who was placed on second due to the international tiebreaker rule, scored the first run of the game. Howlett later scored UWRF’s second run on a Rowan error. Ashley Bertrand went the distance in this game as she pitched a complete game and only allowed three hits. With the win, the righthander from St. Paul, Minn. improved to 5-1 on the season.

The Falcons are currently ranked No. 14 in the country among Division III schools and own a season record of 13-1. Jessica Lundgren leads the team with her batting average of .550 and there are three players behind her who are hitting .400 or better this season. Howlett has already amassed 27 RBIs on the year and Keri Feller is close behind with 22.

“When we are at the top of our game we can compete with any team,” Head Coach Jody Gabriel said. “The WIAC is a very tough conference right now; we had four teams with more than 30 wins last year and three teams made it to post season play. The teams out there that will challenge us the most this season will likely be our own conference opponents.”

Gabriel also said that the 2008 Falcons set a team goal of 35 wins this season and hope to make it to post season competition. Having three returning All-Conference players, plus 15 other equally talented players, this goal could easily become a reality.

The Falcons will host UW-Superior April 9 as well as eighth-ranked UW-Eau Claire April 23 at the UWRF softball diamond.