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UWRF softball team places second at WIAC tournament, Perkins coaches last game

May 6, 2015

The sixth seeded UW-River Falls softball team was able to reach the finals of the WIAC tournament, before losing to UW-Whitewater and receiving second place.

The team ended the season with a 23-22 overall record and a 7-10 record in the WIAC conference.

The Falcons faced off against the number one seeded UW-Eau Claire Blugolds in the tournament’s first game. The Falcons were able to pull off the upset with a 1-0 victory.

Senior Abbie Morris batted in the Falcons’ only run of the game with a solo home run in the first inning. Senior Brooke Lauritzen pitched the seven-inning shutout to get the win for the Falcons. Head Coach Faye Perkins said that being the lower seed may have helped the team.

“When you come in seeded number six, I think you have everything to gain and nothing to lose,” Perkins said. “There was no pressure on the team, we were just glad to be there.”

Next up, the Falcons faced up against UW-La Crosse and lost 9-6. Then the Falcons beat UW-Stout with a final score of 14-2.

In the semifinal game, the Falcons beat UW-Oshkosh 3-2 in the bottom of the eighth inning, when freshman infielder Callie Looft hit in the game-winning run.

The championship game against Whitewater was the last game of Perkins’ career as head coach. Perkins has coached the Falcons for 22 of the last 27 seasons and it was an emotional experience for her.

“It was tough but it was better knowing we had made it to the championship game,” Perkins said. “It was a great way to cap off my career.”

The Falcons had a few players that were acknowledged with awards from the conference. Morris and sophomore outfielder Katie Thompson were both awarded with all-conference selections. Lauritzen received honorable mention.

Lauritzen was selected as the team’s most valuable player. Morris and Thompson were the Falcon offensive players of the year. Senior catcher Amber O’Connell was the defensive player of the year. Senior outfielder Kati Stodolka received the most dedicated award and freshman outfielder Aiyana Ledwein received the most improved and inspirational spirit award.

When Perkins looks back at her career she is all smiles and is grateful that UWRF gave her the opportunity to coach the team. She said that she is hoping to stay involved with the team, but said that it is time for a new coach to build their own legacy at UWRF, and she wishes them the best of luck with the softball team.

Perkins also mentioned that it was very poetic that the softball field that she helped get built early in her career is being torn down and a new one is being built with the Falcon Center project for the new coach.

“I feel fortunate that I’ve been able to coach here for 22 of the last 27 years,” Perkins said. “It has been a fantastic career here at UWRF. I want to thank everybody for just making this such a great ride at UWRF. I couldn’t of ask for anything better.”