The University of Wisconsin-Platteville softball team dropped a doubleheader, 2-0 and 7-5, to visiting UW-River Falls on Saturday afternoon at the UW-Platteville Softball Complex.
The Pioneers (10-12, 1-3 WIAC) stranded five runners, including the bases loaded in the seventh, in the opening game loss. Melissa Anderson was the tough-luck loser, who fell to 7-3. She struck out five, scattering seven hits and allowing just an earned run in the complete game. Offensively, the Pioneers were held to just two hits.
UW-River Falls (10-11, 3-1 WIAC) was led by designated player Amanda Ryder who went 2-for-3 with two RBI. She drove in her first run in the fourth on a double and in the sixth on a ground out after a double and single to start the inning by the Falcons.
The Pioneers mounted a threat in the seventh when Chantal McReynolds singled to right center to start the inning. After a fly out, the Pioneers had runners on first and second when Jordan Johnson reached on an error. A ground out moved the runners to second and third with two out. Colleen Lowe would load the bases with a walk. However, UW-River Falls starting pitcher Rose Tusa closed out the game with her third strikeout of the contest to seal the win.
The nightcap was a back-and-forth contest until the Falcons’ Dana Book hit a three-run home run with two out in the top of the sixth to erase a 5-3 deficit for the visitors.
UW-Platteville jumped out to a 2-0 advantage in the second inning. Nathalie Schattner (pictured above) started the inning with a double. She moved to third on a Johnson ground out. After a pop out, Ellyn Goerdt walked to put runners on the corners for Aubrey Fulton. The left-handed batting Fulton laid down a perfect bunt that caught the Falcons defense by surprise to plate the first run of the game. Next, the Pioneers added to its lead on a RBI single by Samantha Niemann, scoring Goerdt.
The Falcons tied it in its half of the fourth inning; however, UW-Platteville answered with two more to regain the lead, 4-2. In the inning, the Pioneers’ Johnson started it off with a single up the middle. After a pop out and fly out, Fulton singled up the middle to put runners on first and second. Next, the Pioneers capitalized on a UWRF error in the outfield on a ball hit by Niemann to take a 3-2 lead. UW-Platteville stretched the lead to two, 4-2, when she singled to right field to score Fulton.
The Pioneers added another run in the fifth on another miscue by the Falcons to take a 5-2 lead. However, the Falcons rallied for four runs – three of which came on the home run by Book for the 6-5 lead. As the offense picked up the intensity for UWRF, a pitching change to game one starter Rose Tusa silenced the Pioneers bats.
The Flacons picked up an insurance run in the seventh for the final margin. Tusa pitched the final three innings for UW-River Falls in relief to improve her record to 7-5 and striking out six in the process.
Despite the loss, Pioneers’ first baseman Jordan Johnson had three hits and scored twice and right fielder Aubrey Fulton went 2-for-3 with a run and a RBI in the defeat.
The Pioneers return to action on Sunday at 1 p.m. when they host a doubleheader against Augustana at the UW-Platteville Softball Complex.
Boxscore (Game 1)
Boxscore (Game 2)
Photo Gallery by Andy McNeill and Tyler Ensrude