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Softball team smashes its way to road split

April 15, 2015

A postponement of last Thursday’s scheduled doubleheader against Hamline University threw the Falcons into the thick of conference play.

The Falcons hit the road this past weekend and took on WIAC foes UW-Platteville and UW-La Crosse.

In the doubleheader against Platteville, the Falcon offense surged for UW-River Falls en route to a two-game sweep over the Pioneers on Saturday. Game one was won by a score of 14-5 and game two was won by a 12-7 score.

The doubleheader in La Crosse didn’t turn out the same way for UWRF on Sunday. The Falcons could only muster two runs in both of the games, falling in the first game, 6-2, and the second game, 10-2.

Despite the lack of runs on Sunday, it looks like the offense has gotten back on track.

“The surprise is our hitting came back. Our team average for those four games was .422: phenomenal,” said Head Coach Faye Perkins. “We know we can hit. In Florida we were crushing the ball and then we kind of went into a little slump, and now we’re back just in time for the conference games.”

In the four games over the weekend, seven Falcon players batted over .400. Sophomore outfielder Kaitlyn LePine led the hitting parade with a .727 average in the four games, not far behind was senior infielder Brooke Lauritzen at .714 and sophomore outfielder Katie Thompson at .615.

Game one against Platteville saw the Falcons smash six extra-base hits while only surrendering one. Both Thompson and Lauritzen were just triples away from completing the cycle. Thompson and LePine led the team with three RBIs in the 14-5 victory.

It was over pretty quick in game two against Platteville when the Falcons scored nine runs in the second inning alone. Eight extra-base hits made the big win possible, including three home runs. Junior infielder Sarah Sorensen and LePine both hit their first home runs of the doubleheader while Lauritzen crushed her second over the fence in as many games. Lauritzen, again, was just a triple shy of the cycle in the 12-7 victory.

UWRF found itself in the lead in game one against La Crosse thanks to a Toni Lubahn RBI single in the second, but the lead would soon be gone courtesy of a four spot put up by La Crosse in the third inning. Only one extra-base hit was recorded for the Falcons in the game, which was a double from senior pitcher Abbie Morris in the 6-2 loss.

The Falcons found themselves in a hole early in the second game against La Crosse as the home team scored six runs in the bottom of the first inning. Eight hits were registered for UWRF, but only one extra-base hit made it into the books again, which was another double from Morris. The Falcons scored two runs, but one run was scored via an error so only one RBI was recorded for the team, which belonged to freshman outfielder Shannon Borchardt in the 10-2 loss.

It’s the halfway point in WIAC play and the Falcons find themselves with a 2-4 record in conference and a 15-13 overall record. The top six teams in the conference make the conference tournament, the Falcons are currently in the top six.

Perkins thinks the tightness of the conference makes it all the more fun.

“That’s what I think is so exciting about the WIAC, that you can’t go into any game thinking this is going to be an easy game, because when you do that is when you get beat, so you have to play your best game every game,” Perkins said.

The Falcons have a trio of home WIAC doubleheaders lined up between April 18-22, which has the team excited to play in front of their friends and family.

“It’s my last year, so I hope we can sweep both days this upcoming weekend and then hopefully sweep Stout, as well,” Morris said. “Home games are always fun, because it’s our field, it’s our home and we have to protect it.”

The weekend kicks off on Saturday with a doubleheader against UW-Oshkosh. Saturday is the “Hit For Lupus” game and also “Alumni Day” for the Falcons. First pitch on Saturday is set for 2:30 p.m.

Sunday has UW-Stevens Point on the schedule with a noon first pitch. On Sunday, it is also “Senior Day” and “Parent’s Day” for the Falcons softball squad.

The Falcons finish up the regular season home conference schedule on Wednesday against UW-Stout with a doubleheader set for a 4 p.m. first pitch. The postponed doubleheader against Hamline University will be played the next day, Thursday, at Hamline.