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Falcon softball soars into first place in WIAC

April 28, 2011

The UW-River Falls women’s softball team has run their record to an impressive sixteen wins and eleven losses, with a 7-1 record in the WIAC.

The Falcons improved their WIAC record with a double-header sweep of UW-Stevens Point on April 21.

Head Coach Jody Gabriel said that the team is coming along well and making strides in the right direction.

“I feel like the season is progressing well,” Gabriel said. “Throughout the entire season, we have seen a high level of skill in each game.”

Gabriel said that the biggest challenge of the team was putting all of the skills necessary to win a game together at the same time.

“We had some challenges with parts of our game early in the season,” Gabriel said. “Our hitting has come alive, our pitching has stayed strong, and our defense has stepped up a notch.”

Building off of her praise of the teams improvements, Gabriel said that one of the strongest and most improved parts of their game is the defensive side of the ball.

“The one thing we need to keep improving on is our defense,” Gabriel said. “And right now we are doing that daily.”

Junior Rose Tusa has dominated on the mound this season, and aksi said that winning games has a lot to do with the team behind her

“I have a great defense behind me,” Tusa said. “It doesn’t matter if I give up a hit because I know there is eight people behind me ready to give it all.

Tusa said that her dominance on the mound is something she has a hard time explaining.

“I just try to pitch smart every time I am out there,” Tusa said. “I really try to go after the batter.”

Tusa added that a strong point of the Falcons is the team’s depth.

“Everyone has been contributing in some way,” Tusa said. “That really helps when everyone pulls their weight like that.”

Gabriel said that having a player like Tusa on the mound is priceless.

“Having Rose on the mound for us has been fantastic,” Gabriel said. “She works so hard to make sure that the team is successful and she really just does a great job.”

Although Gabriel stressed the importance of Tusa to the team, she made it very clear that the Falcons win together.

“We have to win games together,” Gabriel said. “We can’t always rely on Rose to throw us another win.  She needs defense behind her and offense at the plate to win games.”

Gabriel added that the hot bats of the Falcons have kept them alive in games the majority of the time.

Of course, having impressive offensive numbers to compliment dominant pitching and defense never hurts. The Falcons are batting .309 as a team this season, while their opponents are batting only .260.

The Falcons will host a pair of doubleheaders against conference foes UW-Oshkosh April 30 at 2 p.m. and UW-Whitewater May1 at 12 p.m.  The April 30 game will be the Falcons Hit for Lupus game to support
the Lupus Foundation of Minnesota.