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Falcon softball team continues its winning ways

April 30, 2009

After winning both games of a doubleheader at UW-Platteville, the UW-River Falls Falcon softball team returned home and continued their winning streak by winning both games of a double header against Hamline April 23.

In the first game, Hamline jumped out to an early lead by scoring single runs in the first and second innings. In the top of the seventh, Hamline added another run to lead 3-0. With the Falcons down to their last three outs, they came back to score three runs to tie the game. Senior Rachel Mathias got the inning going with a solo home run to left field. After the next three hitters reached base, with one out, Jamie Klein delivered an RBI single to the pitcher. The next batter, Dana Book received a bases loaded walk to bring in the tying run. The score remained tied until the ninth, when Cassie Peterson drove in the winning run for the Falcons with a bunt single, scoring Mindy Rudiger.

In game two of the doubleheader, the Falcons scored early and often against Hamline starter Kelsey Tacheny. The Falcons won the game 8-0. Patty Olson had three hits and Book had two hits including a home run. Freshman Rose Tusa pitched a complete game shutout walking one and striking out 12.

The next day, The Falcons played host to the UW-Oshkosh Titans in the second to last conference games of the regular season. The Falcons got off to a good start, taking the lead in the first inning thanks to a two-run home run by Mindy Rudiger. The Falcons added three more runs in the third leading 5-1. Once again, Rose Tusa was able to dominate her opponents striking out six in 6 1/3 innings. The Titans were not finished, however, as they tied the game by scoring two runs in both the fifth and sixth innings. Once again, they played an extra inning, with the Falcons coming out victorious thanks to a walk off game-winning three-run home run by Mathias. The Falcons won the game 8-5.

In game two, once again, a lot of runs were scored, with the Titans gaining a 7-1 lead. The Falcons made a comeback that fell a little short, as they were only able to score four runs, all on a grand slam by Rudiger. The Titans won the final game 7-5.

“Getting victories like these are important for us, we know that winning conference games are crucial,” Ruidger said.

In their final home games before the postseason, the Falcons hosted the UW-Stevens Point Pointers. In game one, the Falcons put up four runs in the second inning thanks to a grand slam by Mathias, her third home run this season. Tusa started the game for the Falcons, striking out five in three innings and allowing zero earned runs. Falcon Heidi Emmer gave up one run in the sixth, but it did not matter, as the Falcons won the first game 5-1.

In game two, the Pointers scored first with a run in the second. From that point on, it was all Falcons, as they won the second game 9-1. Book and Rudiger both homered and Jessica Lundgren added three hits to help the Falcons.

In the end, the Falcons finished 5-1 on their homestand, and continued its winning ways with its final two games, winning 7-5 and 11-10 at St. Mary’s.

“I’ve seen a lot of good things especially on the defensive end and we’ve also had strong at bats,” Head Coach Jody Gabriel said.

UWRF received the No. 5 seed in the upcoming WIAC tournament, and will be facing UW- Eau Claire on Friday, May 1 at UW-Superior.

“After starting conference play 0-4, it feels good to be in the playoffs,” Rudiger said.

UWRF played Eau Claire to begin the conference season and lost both games to the Bluegolds 4-3 and 5-3.