BELOIT, Wis. – The Alverno softball team returned to the state of Wisconsin for its first non-Florida game of the young 2019 season. The Inferno travelled to Beloit for a non-conference doubleheader with the Buccaneers and won the opener by a 13-9 score, before falling by an 8-0 score in the second game.
Leading the way offensively for the Inferno was senior Andie Vandertie, who tallied her first home run of the season while also driving in four runs. She alongside classmate Carina Jimenez, led the Inferno on the day with three hits apiece, with Jimenez adding one RBI on the afternoon. The pair along with seniors Dani Hood, and Sam Korn along with sophomore Lauren Greif all crossed the plate twice on the day.
Jimenez, Vandertie, and Korn were three of seven players with multi-hit days along with senior Mackenzie Mathies, juniors Sara Redlin and, Brandi Rice as well as sophomore Kaitlynn Schmick. One of Korn's two hits went for extra bases as she collected her third two-bagger of the season.
In the circle Korn got the start in the opener and tossed the first 2 1/3 innings before Schmick came on on threw the next 1 2/3 innings. Greif came on for the fifth inning and went the last three frames as she earned her second win of the season.
The second game of the day saw Schmick get the start and yield the first three Beloit runs over two innings of work. Greif came on for the fourth inning and allowed six runs before getting out of the frame.
Coming off of an historic start in the sunshine state at 7-3, Alverno needed just one win to set a new standard for best start to a season and accomplished just that with a 13-9 win over the Buccaneers in Saturday's opener.
After a scoreless first inning by both sides, Alverno's offense got jumpstarted in the second with a one-out double off the bat of Korn, who then sprinted over to third following Redlin's flyout. Hood walked to put runners at the corners before Mathies came up and forced the defense's hand with as she reached on a throwing error off a bunt as Korn touched the plate with the game's opening run.
Vandertie followed with her first RBI of the afternoon as she singled to chase Hood home before Greif walked to load the bases. Jimenez singled to right field to plate Mathies, before senior Samantha Chapnick singled to bring around Vandertie. The wheel kept turning as Rice walked to pick up an RBI, before a wild pitch allowed Jimenez to score the sixth run of the second inning to put the Inferno up by a half-dozen.
Despite getting up to bat twice in the top half of the inning, Korn got right back in the circle in the bottom half of the second and after allowing a leadoff single started a double play before retiring the side. Beloit broke through in the bottom of the third, however, as the Buccaneers trimmed Alverno's lead to two with a four-run third.
Needing some more breathing room, it was Vandertie to lead off the top of the fourth inning with a solo home run to left centerfield to give Alverno a three-run cushion. Greif, Jimenez, and Chapnick reached on three-straight walks before Rice batted a ball that was botched on the infield allowing two runs to score. Later in the inning both Schmick and Mathies picked up RBI base knocks as Alverno batted around once again with five runs on three hits to take an 11-4 advantage.
Beloit responded with three runs in the home half of the fourth inning before both sides went scoreless in the fifth as Greif took over in the circle for the Inferno.
In the top of the sixth, Alverno got another rally started as Rice continues her torrid on-base start to the season with a walk. Korn reached on a bunt single before Schmick singled two batters later to load the bases. Two batters later Vandertie plated two more runs as she drilled a single into centerfield to put Alverno ahead by a 13-7 score.
After going down in order in the top of the seventh, Alverno was looking to close out the game but Beloit scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh before Greif got the final two batters to seal the eighth victory on the season for the Inferno.
In the second game with Alverno looking for a sweep, the Inferno went down in order before the Buccaneers stranded a pair on base in the bottom of the first against Schmick. Rice worked a one-out walk in the second but was doubled off to end the threat in the top of the second.
Beloit scored first in the bottom of the inning with two runs on two hits, while leaving the bases loaded as Schmick limited the damage. Alverno was unable to return serve back in the top of the third despite a one-out single off the bat of Redlin, who then stole second base, where she was stranded. Beloit got a leadoff hit in the bottom of the third, but she was stranded on second as the game progressed to the fourth.
Greif got the top of the fourth started with a leadoff single before senior Karli Selear pinch ran. Jimenez singled to put the tying runs on bases before Schmick popped up for the first out. Rice reached on a single to load the bases but Beloit was able to strand the bases full on a groundout and strikeout to end the inning.
With the momentum on their side, Beloit pounced on the Inferno for six runs on six hits to take an 8-0 lead before Alverno was able to get out of the inning.
In their last chance at bat, Alverno got the first two runners on base as Redlin walked and Mathies singled to put the first two runners on base. However, the next two batters were retired before Jimenez reached base after being hit by a pitch. Alverno was unable to get the key hit to drive in any runs to take away the eight-run rule as Beloit took the second game by an 8-0 score in five innings.
Alverno (8-4) will return to its home field for the first time in 2019 on Thursday afternoon, as the Inferno will host the Lawrence Vikings for a 3 p.m. doubleheader on the Alverno Softball Field in Milwaukee.