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Warriors drop losses to Chargers, Lakers

waldorf-warriors-outline_1By: Aaron Schneider

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – The Waldorf College softball team dropped two games, losing 7-1 to Briar Cliff University and falling 9-5 to Roosevelt University during the Fastpitch Dreams Spring Classic on Monday.

Despite the pair of tough losses, the Warriors (1-8) know a bounce-back win is just the spark they need.

“We just need one game to bust open our season and turn it around,” Waldorf coach Lexy Determan said. “We have been knocking on the door of victory several times and we have always been in position to score.”

Sophomore Hattie Hupke batted 3-for-4 with a double for the Warriors in the opener. Senior Kaitlin Murphy produced a double, junior Ashton May delivered an RBI single and senior Maggie Eden tallied a single.

Ashley Del Alto went 3-for-4 at the plate for the Chargers (3-9). Kaitlin Briley, Madison Deane and Jessica Bastian each added two hits. Amy Anderson, Elise Berg and Briley drove in two runs apiece.

Briar Cliff’s Ciara Dotzler (1-2) recorded the win. Dotzler struck out four batters, walked one and allowed one unearned run while scattering six hits in seven innings.

Senior Andrea Hartmann (0-3) was charged with the loss. Hartmann notched four strikeouts, issued three walks and surrendered seven runs (four earned) on 12 hits in six innings.

Waldorf committed three errors and the Chargers capitalized by turning the defensive miscues into runs.

“Defensively we are learning a lot,” Determan said. “We’ve made a few mistakes here and there that have cost us and put more pressure on our hitters. However, we have only made the same mistakes once.”

Briar Cliff put two runs on the scoreboard in bottom of the second inning. The Chargers scored once again in the third to build a three-run cushion.

May singled in the fourth to bring home Murphy and cut Briar Cliff’s lead to 3-1. The Chargers produced two runs apiece during the fifth and sixth innings. The Chargers held the Warriors scoreless in the seventh.

Roosevelt (1-5) erased a four-run deficit with an eight-run fifth inning to top the Warriors in the second game of the day.

Hartmann paced Waldorf’s offense with a 2-for-4 performance that included a two-run homer.  Junior Trista Bures hit 2-for-3 with a two-run single. Murphy notched two hits, Eden provided a double and May singled.

Sam Kusta led the Lakers, batting 2-for-4 with a two-run triple. Kristi Santora ripped a two-run single. Roosevelt cranked out 13 hits and also received two hits apiece from Morgan Vogt, Katie Neubauer, Kelly Crowley and Kelli Jones.

Siena Gyure (1-1) earned the win. Gyure struck out two batters, walked four and allowed five runs (three earned) on eight hits in seven innings.

Sophomore Kaylie Brindley (1-2) was handed the loss. Brindley recorded a strikeout, two walks and relinquished eight runs on nine hits in four and one-third innings.

Senior Maggie Hawley came in to relieve two and two-thirds innings for the Warriors. Hawley fanned three batters and yielded one run on four hits.

Hartmann started Waldorf’s scoring in the bottom of the first by bashing a two-run shot. Eden doubled to send home senior Jessica Abrahamson as the Warriors jumped out to a 3-0 lead.

Haley Huss put the Lakers on the board, connecting for an RBI single in the third.

Bures singled in the fourth, scoring sophomore Taylor Bell and May to give Waldorf a 5-1 advantage.

Roosevelt scored eight runs off eight hits in the fifth to capture a 9-5 lead. Vogt and Neubauer started the big inning with RBI single. Santora singled to knock in two more runs, Lauryn Lewis provided an RBI sacrifice fly, Kusta legged out a triple to push in two more runs and Jones turned in a run-scoring single to cap the offensive outburst.

Gyure surrendered one hit in the sixth. She issued a leadoff walk in the seventh, but the Lakers retired the next three batters to secure the victory.

Two days into the spring break trip, Waldorf’s players have shown improvement and growth to overcome miscues.

“We have learned as we go and these are things that we could have only learned by being outside and playing games,” Determan said. “Spring break has been a beneficial learning experience.”

The Warriors had opportunities to cash in during Monday’s losses. They stranded 15 runners through the two games. Waldorf has made strides with its situational hitting since opening the season in the Aberdeen Dome Tournament on Feb. 20-21 at Aberdeen, S.D.

“Our bunting execution has improved greatly since our last tournament and we have effectively moved runners,” Determan said. “We are just in need of finding the big hit. We had a couple unfortunate situations [Monday] where we had runners in scoring position and hit line drives right at people or hit hard foul balls and lost the battle.”

The Warriors continue the Fastpitch Dreams Spring Classic on Wednesday when they take on NCAA Division II’s Malone University (3-1) at 11:30 a.m. (EST). Waldorf is prepared to continue building on fundamentals to generate production at the plate.

“I have extremely high hopes for this group,” Determan said. “With the execution of the bunts and base running I’ve seen the past few days, I know we are doing enough of the little things right that our hits will start to fall.”