Duhawks off to 7-3 start following Tucson, AZ trip
Katie Serpico (Fr./Norridge, Ill./Ridgewood HS) leads the Duhawks with a .481 avg. and 15 RBI
Katie Serpico (Fr./Norridge, Ill./Ridgewood HS) leads the Duhawks with a .481 avg. and 15 RBI
Thu, Mar. 8, 2012 - [Softball]
 

The Loras College softball team opened their 2012 season in Tucson, Arizona this season with seven wins to just three losses. The team stole 26 bases in 10 games and four players have logged at least 10 hits already this season. Here's how the first 10 games went for the Duhawks at the Tucson Invitational Games.

  

The calendar turned to March and the Duhawks opened with Milwaukee School of Engineering for three of their first four games. Loras outscored MSOE 28-6 in the first three games.

 

Game 1, LOR 8, MSOE 2

Game 2, LOR 10, MSOE 2

Game 3, LOR 10, MSOE 1

 

In Game 1, Loras scored at least two runs in three of the first five innings to build a 6-0 and eventually 8-2 lead. Kellie Klein earned the first win of the season on the mound, striking out five and conceding no walks in four innings. MSOE was plagued by seven errors and six of Loras' eight runs were unearned.

 

Leadoff hitter Beth Miller and designated hitter Katie Serpico each had multi-hit games. Eight different players scored runs for the Duhawks. Serpico knocked in three runs to lead the offense in that category.

 

In Game 2, the Duhawks opened another early lead with seven runs in the first two innings on their way to a convincing 10-1 win. Stephanie Popovich threw three innings to start the game and earned the win, allowing just one run striking out three. Kellie Klein took over at first base and went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and three RBI.

 

In Game 3 on March 2, the Duhawks again scored 10 runs.  MSOE's defense was better, but Lara Mangialardi allowed just four hits to her opposition. The Duhawks used a six-run fourth inning to extend their lead. Katie Serpico and Alaina Rigdon logged 2 RBI hits in that inning. Rigdon's came on a bases clearing triple.

  

CU 3, LOR 0

 

The second game of March 2 was the first loss the Duhawks suffered of the season. Chapman University won a 3-0 game as the Duhawks offense slowed.

 

Chapman's starting pitcher allowed just one hit and struck out 11 Loras batters. Beth Miller logged the Duhawks' lone hit in the sixth inning.

 

Kellie Klein took her only loss of the trip, allowing two runs on four hits, walking two and striking out three.

 

On March 3, the Duhawks were under the lights for their second game against Chapman and first of two against Medaille.

 

LOR 11, MED 1 (5)

CU 5, LOR 3

 

Katie Serpico was behind the plate and posted a four-hit effort, driving in five runs to lead the Duhawks. Beth Miller, Katelyn Jones, and Molly Bolibaugh each had two hits. Bolibaugh was the hero early, hitting a two-run homerun to make it 3-0 Loras after a half inning. She finished with three runs scored and three RBI.

 

On the mound, Stephanie Popovich was outstanding, allowing just one hit and one unearned run. She didn't walk a batter, struck out eight, and faced just three more than the minimum in the five inning game.

 

Loras then held and early 1-0 lead on Chapman after Beth Miller walked, moved up twice on a passed ball and fielder's choice and then crossed the plate on a defensive error. Chapman used a wild pitch to even things at 1-1 in the third inning.

 

A two-run homer by Chapman in the top of the fifth gave them their first lead of the game. The Duhawks answered with a Beth Miller RBI single in the bottom half to get within 3-2.

 

In the top of the seventh, reliever Stephanie Popovich was hit twice, walked one, and hit a batter for two runs for the guests. Loras' Beth Miller started a two-out rally in the bottom half, but the Duhawks couldn't get any closer than 5-3. They managed more hits against Chapman, but suffered their second loss to the Panthers and second of the trip.

 

On March 4, the Duhawks returned to the win column with a pair of shortened 9-1 wins. This time Pittsburgh-Bradford and Medaille were on the receiving end of a 22-hit day for Loras.

LOR 9, P-B 1

LOR 9, MED 1

 

Pitt.-Bradford manufactured their first and only run of the day in the top of the first and the Duhawks tied the game at 1-1 in the second inning after Kellie Klein drove home Katelyn Jones on with a triple.   

 

Klein settled in after the first inning and wouldn't allow another hit over the next five innings. She finished with seven strikeouts and earned another win on the mound for the Duhawks.

 

Katelyn Jones was the catalyst on offense, finishing 3-for-3 with two of her three hits coming in the fourth inning. Loras scored six runs that inning and Jones drove in two of them with a bases loaded single. Jones finished with two runs scored and two RBI.

 

Loras wrapped up the game with a two-run fifth inning. Beth Miller and Shelby Perkins had RBI singles in the inning to force the early ending.

 

Against Medaille, Miller picked up where she left off, going 3-for-4 with three runs scored from the leadoff spot in support of starter Lara Mangialardi.

 

Katelyn Jones, Katie Serpico, and Alaina Rigdon each had two hits. Among the highlights of those six was Rigdon's two-run homerun in the sixth inning to right field. Jones and Molly Bolibaugh added RBIs in the sixth inning to end things early.

 

Mangialardi allowed just three hits and one run in earning the win.

  

Getaway Day for the Duhawks included a Monday split with Alfred University and St. John Fisher.

LOR 5, AU 4

SJF 3, LOR 0

 

The Duhawks opened a 5-0 lead on Alfred University in support of Kellie Klein. Loras benefited from four walks and nine hits and stranded 11 runners, but did enough with runners in scoring position to come away winners as Alfred mounted a late-inning comeback.

 

Kellie Klein helped herself with a two-run homer to cap a three-run third inning. Then the Duhawks posted two more runs with a Regan Theis single and bases loaded walk.

 

Alfred put together four hits in the sixth inning to cut the Loras lead to 5-2. Then, in the seventh, they used a two-run homer to get within one at 5-4.

 

With the bases empty and one out, Klein finished the game with a groundout back to her and a strikeout to end the game. She finished with five strikeouts on the mound and no walks.

 

The finale of the trip was a closely contested 3-0 loss to St. John Fisher. The teams combined for just six hits, and each committed one error.

 

St. John Fisher never scored more than one run in an inning, keeping Loras' hopes of a comeback alive. The Cardinals' starter didn't walk a batter and the only three Duhawks to reach base were the singles my Katelyn Jones, Lara Mangialardi, and the error that put Molly Bolibaugh on base.

 

The Cardinals used a pair of solo homeruns against Loras starting pitcher Stephanie Popovich in the fourth and sixth innings to extend their early 1-0 lead and claim the victory. Popovich tried to match the Cardinals' starter, but allowed three earned runs on just four hits against her. She stuck out six in the game.

 

The loss put the Duhawks at 7-3 after their first week of action. A year ago in Florida, the Duhawks managed just two wins on their spring trip. They are now four games above .500 entering their March 17 doubleheader against Blackburn College in Carlinville, Illinois.

 

After 10 games, freshman Katie Serpico lead the Duhawks with a .481 average and 15 RBI. Beth Miller had a team high 14 hits from the leadoff spot, scored a team high 13 runs, and stole seven bases. Popovich, Kellie Klein, and Mangialardi each won at least two games on the mound.

 

The Duhawks outscored their opponents 65-28 on the week and held their opponents to a .207 batting average.

 

The first home game for the Duhawks will be against UW-Platteville on March 28. On March 31, they'll open IIAC play when they host Simpson College.