Softball stays hot at home: New coach Lee Negrelli has Pioneers atop WIAC after winning four of six contests at the Pioneer Softball ComplexBy Colten Bartholomew • April 5, 2012 • Category: Sports
The University of Wisconsin-Platteville softball team, as of Tuesday, has won four of six games in its first home stand of the young season.
The Pioneers (11-9, 3-1 WIAC) debuted at the Pioneer Softball Complex with a March 29 doubleheader against University of Dubuque.
In game one, the Spartans rode the strong pitching performance of Emily Michels to a 1-0 victory. Michels’ complete-game shutout of the Pioneers was bolstered by three strikeouts. Pioneers starter Melissa Anderson nearly matched Michels’ shutout, a fourth-inning homerun by Spartan Susan Danielewski the only blemish on her day.
In the nightcap, the Pioneers and Spartans battled for seven innings to a 3-3 deadlock, requiring extra innings to decide the victor. Anderson relieved Jeni Freiburger in the sixth inning and pitched two near-perfect innings, allowing only one hit and striking out four. The Pioneers won the game in their first at-bat in the extra frame when Ashlen Folkers blasted a walk-off home run over the left-field fence.
The Pioneers then opened WIAC play with a Saturday doubleheader against visiting University of Wisconsin-Superior. The Pioneers used a three-run fourth inning to power a 4-1 win in game one. A two-RBI single by catcher Molly Rice fueled the decisive fourth-inning rally. Anderson picked up her sixth win of the year and struck out seven in the complete-game performance.
An offensive explosion propelled the Pioneers in the finale. Designated player Nathalie Schattner’s two homeruns and five RBIs highlighted the Pioneers’ 17-5 drubbing, in which the team pelted 15 hits. The game was ended by the 10 run mercy rule after the top of the fifth, and marked Freiburger’s third win of the season.
The Pioneers next squared off with the Blugolds of University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Sunday. The Pioneers rattled off their fourth win in a row in game one, a tough 2-1 victory. Frieburger pitched six innings in relief, scattering seven hits and working out of a third-inning jam with runners stranded at second and third. The win was her third of the campaign.
The decisive run came for the Pioneers in the fifth inning, when Kayla Gosdeck singled in pinch runner Cassandra Bonin.
The high spirits the Pioneers gained from the early win were wiped away in the second contest.
The Blugolds scored in each inning of play on the way to a 13-4 win. UW-Plattevile starter Brittany Caley had a rough outing, surrendering seven runs and 10 hits in four innings of work. The Blugolds abused the base paths, tallying five stolen bases. The Pioneer offense was silent until a two-out rally in the fifth spurred by a two-RBI double from Folkers.
Check online for a recap of Wednesday’s doubleheader against Beloit College. The Buccaneers enter the pair of games 5-13.