Duhawks sweep UW-Platteville in home opener(s)
Photo Courtesy: Jim Naprstek
Photo Courtesy: Jim Naprstek
Wed, Mar. 28, 2012 - [Softball]

ABOVE: Katie Serpico waits for UWP's Brittni Peach after a squeeze attempt


The Loras College softball team took both games of a softball doubleheader over tri-state neighbor UW-Platteville on Wednesday afternoon, 4-3 and 2-0 at Faber-Clark Field. The Duhawks used a big inning in Game 1 and battled to a low-scoring 2-0 victory in Game 2 to move to 11 wins on the year. A year ago, it took the Duhawks until mid-April to reach double digit wins.


Game 1 – Loras 4, UWP 3


Loras threatened right away in the bottom of the first inning after starting pitcher Kellie Klein worked through the top of the inning without allowing a hit, but walking one and plunking another. The Duhawks loaded the bases, but came away empty.


Platteville ended up striking first with an RBI double from Jordan Johnson, who tried to move up to third but was thrown out. The game's first run crossed the plate in plenty of time, and the Duhawks were looking up at an early 1-0 deficit.


They must not have liked that feeling on their home field, because they weren't behind for long.


Niki Rivera led off the second with a walk, stole second, and Loras continued to put pressure on throughout the rest of the inning. An error and three hits later, Loras was in front 4-1. The first RBI came from Regan Theis and the second from Shelby Perkins – both singles. A one out bases loaded single off the wall by freshman Katie Serpico put the Duhawks in front by three runs.


The Pioneers manufactured a run in the top of the third to make it 4-2 and then a sloppy defensive play by the Duhawks in the fifth made it a one run game at 4-3.


But Kellie Klein had enough in the tank to keep things there. She allowed just one more hit and two more softballs out of the infield over the final two innings to preserve the win – her team high fifth of the 2012 season.


Game 2 – Loras 2, UWP 0


The second half of the doubleheader had a different feel to it with a new pitcher for each team and no runs scored through the first 4.5 innings.


The teams combined for just four hits over that stretch and starting pitchers Stephanie Popovich of Loras and Melissa Anderson of Platteville would combine for 14 strikeouts – seven each – over the course of the game. Both hurlers were under control and in control throughout, issuing just three walks.


Anderson's first true ‘mistake' of the game came on an 0-2 pitch to Kellie Klein, who played first base for Game 2. Klein lifted the offering to left field and over the fence for her second homerun of 2012.


The Pioneers' best chance to score a run came a half inning earlier when the leadoff walk in the inning was at third base with one out. Platteville elected to try and squeeze home the game's first run, but Popovich was quick off the mound and underhanded a clean toss to Katie Serpico to tag out pinch runner Brittni Peach for the second out of the inning at home.


Loras' sophomore starting pitcher would then work around two hits in the sixth and retire the side in order in the seventh to earn her fourth win of 2012. She allowed just four hits over the seven innings.


The Duhawks would add an insurance run in their half of the sixth inning after three singles scored Alaina Rigdon, who produced the first of those efforts to start the rally.


Next up for the Duhawks is another home doubleheader, this time to open Iowa Conference action. The Simpson Storm (15-7) will be at Faber-Clark Field for a 2:00 PM start on Saturday.