The University of Wisconsin-Platteville softball team nearly pulled off a doubleheader sweep of local rival, Loras, on Thursday afternoon at the UW-Platteville Softball Complex. The Pioneers (6-8) won the opening game by a 4-2 margin before falling 1-0 in the nightcap.
In the game one victory, UW-Platteville answered a pair of threats by the Duhawks. After falling behind 1-0 in the first inning, the Pioneers took their first lead of the afternoon with two runs in the second.
With one out and the bases loaded after a pair of walks and a single, Molly Rice drove in Jordan Johnson on a RBI ground out to tie the game at 1. The next batter, Aubrey Fulton drove in Johnson from third on a single to put UW-Platteville ahead by a 2-1 margin.
The Duhawks came back to tie the game at 2 in its half of the sixth. However, the Pioneer offense had its say in its half of the inning. Chantal McReynolds got the rally started with a one-out double to left field. Next, a single by Ellyn Goerdt to right field but an overthrow by the Duhawks' right fielder scored an alert McReynolds to put the Pioneers ahead by a 3-2 margin and sent Goerdt into scoring position. The Pioneers followed that up with an insurance run when Nathalie Schattner singled through the right side for a 4-2 UW-Platteville lead.
UW-Platteville pitcher Melissa Anderson sent the Duhawks down in order in the seventh to raise her record to 4-2. In the win, Anderson struck out four for her sixth complete game of the season.
In game two, Loras (6-11) starter Stephanie Popovich held the Pioneers to just two hits and struck out six to improve her record to 1-4. UW-Platteville starter Jeni Freiburger had one of her best outings of her young career allowing just five hits and striking out a career-high nine Duhawks.
The Duhawks scored their lone run in the first and the Pioneers spoiled the no-hitter bid by Popovich in the sixth.
In the sixth, Colleen Lowe walked to end the perfect game. Next, Samantha Niemann singled down the left-field line to put runners on first and second. The Pioneers' Aubrey Fulton laid down an ideal sacrifice bunt to move up pinchrunner Amber Bishop and Niemann to second and third. Next, Chantal McReynolds loaded the bases when she reached on an error. However, Popovich got out of the jam with a pop out and a ground out to end the threat.
The Pioneers mounted a brief threat in the seventh with a one-out single by Ellyn Goerdt. But, back-to-back pop outs ended the game and opportunity for UW-Platteville.
Next, UW-Platteville will start WIAC play against UW-Oshkosh in a doubleheader on Saturday at home at 2 p.m. The games were originally scheduled for UW-Oshkosh but due to field conditions in Oshkosh, the games have been moved to Platteville.
Boxscore (Game 1)
Boxscore (Game 2)
Photo Gallery by Tyler Ensrude