Long ball powers Warhawks

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Long ball powers Warhawks

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April 15, 2015 By Andrew Lowe

The 11th-ranked UW-Whitewater softball team had a heavy conference schedule this past week, winning four games but dropping the final two bringing ,their overall record to 19-5 on the season with an 8-2 record in conference play.

The ’Hawks hosted UW-Stevens Point on Wednesday for a doubleheader, defeating the Pointers by scores of 7-2 and 7-0.  The Warhawks offense was powered by the long ball where senior Deven DuCharme hit three home runs over two games. Seniors Jo Jablonski and Kelynn Sporer also contributed at the plate.

The outburst of home run power totaling 26 for the Warhawks so far this season, has taken coach Brenda Volk by surprise.

“I didn’t really expect the home run totals to be this high from this team, but it’s a pleasant surprise,” Volk said.

The ’Hawks hosted UW-Superior on Saturday and swept the Yellow Jackets in the doubleheader by a score of 10-2 in a six inning game shortened by the mercy rule, and a 6-0 shutout in game two.  The bats were strong early in game one as the Warhawks scored four runs early on the Yellow Jackets to set the tone for the rest of the game.

Freshman Mallory Klotz and junior Maggie Hansen both went 3-for-4 with Hansen driving in two runs, and DuCharme and Sporer both went 2-for-3 driving in a total of four runs in game one for the ’Hawks.

DuCharme went 3-for-4 and drove in two runs in game two, while freshman Michayla Swanson also drove in two runs while going 1-for-2 in the game.

The Warhawks then hosted UW-Eau Claire on Sunday, and dropped both games of the doubleheader to the Blugolds by a score of 5-2 in game one, and 2-0 in game two.

DuCharme stayed on fire, hitting her team-leading seventh homer of the season in game one, her fifth in the last five games, to get the ’Hawks on the board early and cut the Blugolds’ lead in half to 2-1. She also made an over-the-shoulder catch late in the game to keep the Blugolds from taking the lead, leaving the game at a 2-2 tie going into the bottom of the seventh inning.

In game two, Sporer kept the Blugolds without a hit from the second inning all the way until the seventh, when a one-out RBI added to the Blugolds lead and put away the Warhawks for good.

Even though the Warhawks couldn’t beat UW-EC Sunday, Volk said she loved the team’s performance.

“I am extremely happy with the way our team has played so this far this season. Pitching, defense and hitting have all done well. We had chances to get ahead against Eau Claire, but the bats just went cold,” Volk said.

Looking back on the week, the ’Hawks had some strong points.

“I feel as if the last week really forced us to utilize our strengths and learn to adapt to different game situations,” DuCharme said. “Moving forward, our goal as a team is to just go out and play our game and keep improving on not letting the uncontrollables of the game like umpires or weather get to our heads. This team won’t go down without a fight.”

The ’Hawks have some things to continue to improve on as the season progresses as well.

“We have to get better at moving runners and getting bunts down,” Volk said. “That’s our biggest weakness right now.”

The Warhawks hit the road to Oshkosh on Wednesday for two games against the Titans, followed by a six-game home stand against the University of Dubuque Thursday, University of Chicago Saturday and St. Norbert’s College on Sunday.

 

 

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