Softball: ‘Hawks look toward Titans

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April 23, 2014

By Paul Bressler

The UW-Whitewater softball team looks to close the conference gap with UW-Oshkosh in a doubleheader starting at 3 p.m. on April 23 in Whitewater.

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Morgan Krisch

“We’re excited to face them,” senior first baseman Morgan Krisch said. “They [Titans] always bring us some good competition, but we don’t worry too much about who we play. We just have to play Warhawk softball. We’re going to give them a game, and hopefully the outcome is in our favor.”

The Titans are undefeated (8-0) in conference play, while the Warhawks, having suffered in-conference losses to UW-La Crosse and UW-Stout, are 6-2 and sit at third in the conference.

A sweep of the Titans would give the ’Hawks the outright conference lead and position themselves for the No. 1-seed in the WIAC Tournament. The Blue Devils, who are currently second in the conference (7-1), will surely play a part in how the final standings unfold.

“It’s a perfectly even matchup,” said head coach Brenda Volk. “It’s kind of scary how evenly matched we are top to bottom. We just have to come out and play like I know we can. It’s going to be crucial to whether we win our conference or not, but there’s a lot that can still happen even after that.”

The Warhawks coasted to victories against the UW-River Falls Falcons in game one (9-2) and game two (8-0) on Friday afternoon to improve to 22-7 overall and 8-2 in the WIAC. The ’Hawks honored their six seniors and the alumni at the doubleheader.

The ’Hawks were led on offense by senior outfielder Samie Seamon, who had a perfect day at the plate. Seamon went 6-for-6, including two home runs and a double, scoring four runs and five RBI. The team’s six seniors hit .500 (17-34) and combined for one double, four home runs, 14 runs and 10 RBI in the doubleheader.

“Our senior class plays a big part into the team’s success,” Krisch said. “Being honored was awesome. It was a fun game to play in.”

The Falcons got off to a great start in the top of the first inning with back-to-back two-out home runs. The ’Hawks quickly answered in the bottom of the first with back-to-back homers of their own. Senior second baseman Kelly McGrail sent one to left and Krisch went over the center field fence.

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Brenda Volk

The ’Hawks scored another three runs in the second inning, all with two outs. The Warhawks added runs in the fourth and fifth and led 7-2. The ’Hawks added two insurance runs in the sixth after Seamon’s double to center field brought in both runs.

Junior pitcher Kelynn Sporer earned the win after giving up two early home runs. Sporer improved to 9-3 on the season. She tossed a complete game while striking out five batters.

The Warhawks kept their momentum going in game two of the doubleheader. The ’Hawks opened the game with two runs and added another three in the bottom of the second. The team posted another two runs in the third and led 7-0 after four innings.

The game came to an end (five innings) when freshman catcher Alyssa Fernandez drove in Seamon with a hard shot to second to give the Warhawks an 8-0 lead.

Junior pitcher Bekka Houda improved to 10-4 on the season after throwing a complete game one-hitter while striking out four.

On April 21, the Warhawks faced the St. Norbert Green Knights in a non-conference doubleheader and split, losing game one, 3-2, while taking game two, 10-2.

In the first game, the ’Hawks led 2-0 until the bottom of the sixth inning where the Green Knights hit a game-winning three-run home run.

In the second game of the doubleheader, Volk’s club got its offense going early, scoring three runs in the first and again in the second innings.

Krisch went four-for-four in the game, adding four RBI for the team in their six-inning victory. The ’Hawks tallied 11 hits in total.

“Overall I’m pretty happy with where we’re at,” Volk said. “There’s not a lot to be down about. In the seven losses, four of them we just didn’t play very well, but that’s going to happen. I’m looking for that consistent play. If we play our game, we’re going to be pretty tough to beat.”

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