Outright title out of reach for ’Hawks

In a must-win situation, the softball team came up short against the UW-River Falls Falcons last weekend, dropping both games of a double header, 8-7 and 5-4.

The losses allow the Warhawks (26-8, 11-5) to only garner a tie for first place in the WIAC at best, despite coming back with a two-game sweep against the UW-Stout Blue Devils Monday night.

The WIAC tournament is up next for the ’Hawks, who will have to travel to either River Falls or La Crosse instead of hosting the tourney.

Head coach Brenda Volk said this will not matter much to the ’Hawks, and might even be a benefit for the team.

“There are pros and cons,” Volk said. “When we’re at home there are other distractions and we’re not all together as a cohesive unit. Now that we’re on the road we can just focus on softball. We’ll take this as a positive thing.”

Despite the ’Hawks’ positive outlook, this is the first time they have been swept in a doubleheader since April 26 of last year.

Even more uncommon is senior pitcher Jessica Stang giving up a lead. The ’Hawks were up 7-1 against the Falcons in the first game and 4-1 in the second game, but the home squad rallied for both victories.

Sophomore catcher Emily Epifanio said there is nothing to worry about, as Stang was back to her old ways against the Blue Devils Monday night, allowing no runs in both games.

“It definitely hurt to lose two games, but we’re ready to take it right back to them in the WIAC tournament,” Epifanio said.