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Waldorf brings down Roosevelt

waldorf-warriors-outline_1By Matt Oliver

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – The Waldorf College softball team brought down Roosevelt University, scoring a 3-1 victory in eight innings while splitting its final two games of the Fastpitch Dreams Spring Classic on Thursday.

Rio Grande University (9-4) escaped with a 1-0 win over the Warriors (4-10) in the second game of the day. The Red Storm is receiving votes in the latest National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) poll and was challenged all the way to the finish.

“We played very well,” Waldorf coach Lexy Determan said. “Our defense was outstanding and only allowed two runs all day.”

Sophomore Hattie Hupke led the Warriors in the opener, going 3-for-4. Senior Andrea Hartmann went 2-for-4, lifting Waldorf to the win with a two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning and also provided a double.

The Warriors received an RBI single from senior Jessica Abrahamson and junior Hailey Kofron connected for a double.

Sophomore Briley Sullivan (1-0) secured the win, striking out one batter while closing out the eighth inning.

Hartmann started inside the pitcher’s circle. She notched two strikeouts, issued five walks and yielded one run as she scattered nine hits in seven innings.

“Andrea and Briley made a great combination,” Determan said.

Katie Neubauer (0-2) took the loss for the Lakers (2-8). She struck out two batters, walked two and allowed three runs on seven hits in seven and one-third innings.

Roosevelt’s Kristy Santora turned in a 3-for-3 performance at the plate with a double. Morgan Vogt and Neubauer added two hits apiece. Katrina Yager and Kelli Jones contributed singles. The Lakers threatened throughout the game, but stranded 14 base runners due to a sharp defensive effort by Waldorf.

“That is a huge credit to our defense and our pitching staff,” Determan said. “It was great practice for pressure defense.”

A first-inning single from Abrahamson scored senior Maggie Eden to put the Warriors in front early.

Roosevelt’s Sam Kusta was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the top of the fifth, which brought home the tying run.

Hupke led off the eighth with a single, setting the stage for Hartmann’s two-run blast. Hartmann is sporting a .304 batting average and leads Waldorf with three homers and 12 RBIs on the season.

Senior Kaitlin Murphy turned in a double in the loss to Rio Grande while sophomore Taylor Bell beat out a bunt single. Despite finishing with just two hits, the Warriors have seen production at the plate as of late.

“Offensively, we have been much more aggressive and it has paid off tremendously,” Determan said. “Even our outs have been hard hits and have made the defense work hard.”

Sophomore Kaylie Brindley (1-4) was hit with the loss, but kept the Red Storm in check as she limited them to four hits. Brindley punched out six batters, walked two and gave up one unearned run.

“Kaylie pitched very well and held a strong hitting team to only four hits,” Determan said. “Our pitchers got ahead all day and it really showed defensively.”

Jenna Jones (3-0) picked up the win, tossing a two-hitter and striking out six batters.

Rio Grande’s Gabby Gregg, Tayler Arndt, Carley Skeese and Kelsey Conkey contributed singles.

The game wasn’t decided until the bottom of the seventh. Alex Kuhn drew a one-out walk to put the Red Storm in business and advanced to third base following a single from Conkey. With two outs, Conkey stole second and Kuhn scored the game-winning run on an error.

The Warriors left three runners on base while Rio Grande stranded six.

Waldorf returns to action next weekend, playing McPherson College (4-14) in a 1 p.m. doubleheader on March 19 at McPherson, Kan. The Warriors also face Haskell Indian Nations University (0-2) in a 1 p.m. twin bill on March 20 at Lawrence, Kan.

Pulling out hard-fought wins and battling throughout the five-day, eight-game spring break trip at North Myrtle Beach has Waldorf looking ahead to the North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) season, which begins March 25-26 when the Warriors host Mayville State University (3-3) in a four-game series.

“If we continue to play like we played [Thursday], we should be extremely competitive in conference play,” Determan said. “I hope the girls are proud of the way they finished their week. This week was a learning experience and we really made a lot of progress.”