UW-W wins six in a row

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April 22, 2015 By Andrew Lowe

The 13th-ranked Warhawk softball team finished the week with seven wins and only one loss to improve its record to 26-6 overall on the season, and 9-3 in conference play.

The Warhawks opened up its week at UW-Oshkosh where it split the doubleheader by scores of a 2-0 win and a 6-4 loss to the Titans.

The first game, the Warhawks got a great pitching performance from senior Bekka Houda as she threw a complete-game shutout, allowing the Titans to only get one hit.  The offense for the ’Hawks came off of the bats of sophomore Amy Ricci and freshman Mallory Klotz as they each drove in one run in the game.

The second game, started with an offensive explosion in the first inning, as the ’Hawks got all four of their runs in the top of the first inning, with three of the runs coming off one swing of the bat as senior Kelynn Sporer hit her third home run of the season.

Whitewater head coach Brenda Volk thought her team could have pulled out the victory with better approaches at the plate.

“We started off really hot, scoring four runs in the first,” Volk said. “But after that our bats just seemed to go cold. We just have to stop helping pitchers out by swinging at balls at the chin or ones that bounce in, and focus on swinging at good pitches.”

The ’Hawks took on the University of Dubuque at home on Thursday, taking both games from the Spartans by scores of 8-1 and 9-2.

In the first game, the Spartans cracked the scoreboard first putting up a run in the top of the first inning, but that would be all they would score off Warhawk sophomore pitcher Steph Waller. Senior Jo Jablonski drove in a run in the bottom half of the first to tie the game with a triple. Ricci followed with a single to drive her in and put the ’Hawks in the lead for good.

The ’Hawks scored in the bottom of the first inning in game two on a single to the right side by senior Deven DuCharme which drove in Klotz to put the Warhawks ahead 1-0. Whitewater would not give up the lead all game, as sophomore Cara Smoczynski kept the Spartans off the scoreboard until the fifth inning, winning her second game of the season.

The Maroons of the University of Chicago came to Whitewater Saturday to take on the Warhawks and left with two losses as the ’Hawks won by scores of 2-1 and 8-5.

The Warhawks scored in the bottom of the first inning when DuCharme scored on a passed ball. Ricci hit her third home run of the season in the fourth inning to put the ’Hawks up two, giving them all they needed to win game one.

In the second game, the Maroons had much more offense, and the Warhawks needed late heroics from Jablonski as she hit a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the seventh inning to get the win for the ’Hawks.

“Hannah, Mal and Deven did a great job getting on base before me, and I knew I had a job to do,” Jablonski said. “I just wanted to get a base hit to drive in a run and keep us alive. I just got a pitch I liked and put a good swing on the ball and that was that.”

Her walk-off grand slam tied DuCharme, who also homered in the game, for the team-lead at eight.

The Warhawks finished out the week sweeping St. Norbert College at home on Sunday by final scores of 9-3 and 9-1.

The ’Hawks bats exploded for 18 runs on 25 hits in the series. Jablonski led Whitewater in game one going 3-4 with 2 RBI. Senior Caitlin Snyder connected on her first home run of the season late in the game. Houda earned her twelfth win of the season.

The second game was all Warhawks as they scored early and often.  Jablonski led the ’Hawks with two hit, while Ricci and Snyder, who hit her second home run of the season, lead the team with 2 RBI.

The Warhawks have UW-LaCrosse Thursday, UW-Platteville Saturday and Millikin College Sunday on the schedule this week, with all those games at home.