MILWAUKEE – The Alverno softball team opened up play on the Alverno Softball Field with a lopsided victory on Thursday afternoon, taking down the Lawrence Vikings by the score of 20-6. In the second game of the non-conference doubleheader it was the Vikings to come out on top by a 6-3 margin.
The 20-run game was the first time that Alverno had reached 20 runs in a single game since the 2016 season, when the Inferno put up 23 runs in a shutout victory over Maranatha on April 21 of that season.
On the day Alverno had four-RBI outings from four players, including seniors Samantha Chapnick, Carina Jimenez, and Andie Vandertie, while freshman Natalie Akin added four RBIs on the day as well. Sophomore Kaitlynn Schmick also drove in a pair of runs, while the Inferno also got solo RBIs from seniors Sam Korn, and Mackenzie Mathies, while juniors Sara Redlin and Brandi Rice also brought runs home.
Jimenez and Akin tallied five hits apiece on the day, including a 4-for-4 effort by Jimenez in the opener. Chapnick and Akin hit long balls in the opener, while Rice registered her second round-tripper of the season in the night cap. Schmick had four total hits on the day, while Mathies and Vandertie each collected three hits apiece including a double off the bat of Mathies.
Jimenez also led the team with five runs scored on the day, while Rice scored four out of the leadoff spot. Chapnick, Mathies and senior Dani Hood along with Akin all crossed the plate twice on the day. Junior Kaitlynn Johnson had the team's lone stolen base on the afternoon.
As a team Alverno pitched to the tune of nine earned runs over 12 innings, while striking out six batters including five of those from Schmick, who got the start in the opener and allowed just one earned run over her two innings of work. Akin tossed one inning and allowed one earned run, while Greif tossed the final two innings in the opener and yielded one earned run of her own.
The second game saw Korn start the game and throw the first three innings in the circle, before Schmick came on for the final four frames and struck out three batters while yielding the final two Viking runs in the night game.
Lawrence got a runner to third base in the top half of the opening inning, but Schmick got out of it on a head's up defensive play by Vandertie at third base, before striking out the final batter of the inning.
With the early momentum, the Inferno offense took advantage early as Rice led off the inning with a walk before Jimenez and Schmick both singled to load the bases. Akin then laced a double to the opposite field and plated the first two runs of the game. Vandertie drove in a run with a single of her own to make it 3-0. Two batters later, Chapnick drilled a ball deep over the centerfield fence for a three-run home run as Alverno took the early 6-0 advantage.
Lawrence got one run back in the top of the second with a sacrifice fly before Alverno's offense took over once again. Rice walked to lead off the second followed by a Jimenez single. Schmick then singled to drive one run home before an error on the same play allowed a second run to score. Akin then followed with a home run of her own to cap off a four-run inning by the Inferno to take a 10-1 lead into the third.
The top of the third saw the Vikings add three runs as Lawrence attempted to chip away at the large Inferno lead.
In the bottom of the inning, Alverno put together one of its biggest innings of the season as 14 batters came to the plate and the Inferno amassed a 10-run inning. Mathies got the rally started with an opposite field double over the left fielder's head followed by a base knock by Rice to put runners at the corners. Jiemenz singled to bring Mathies home before a groundout put two runners into scoring position. Akin then followed with an infield knock to load the bases.
Vandertie was up next and connected on a single up the middle to chase two runners home, before Redlin reached on a ground ball that the Lawrence shortstop overran allowing Jimenez to score. Chapnick and Korn pulled the ball through the infield on the next two at bats for RBIs of their own before Mathies brought home another run with her second hit of the inning. Jimenez had another big shot with a double to left centerfield allowing all three runners to score before Schmick followed with a single to plate the 10th and final run of the inning.
With a 20-4 lead Greif came on to pitch the top of the fourth inning and allowed one earned run and two overall before getting the third out before Alverno went down in order in the fourth inning, including the second at bat of the season by senior Cailey Jeske.
Greif got the first batter before walking the second of the inning, before the sophomore slammed the door shut on the win by getting the final two outs of the inning.
In the second game it was Lawrence to jump out to a quick 2-0 lead just three batters in before Korn retired the next two to bring the Inferno up to bat. Rice walked but was erased on a fielder's choice. Two batters later, Akin singled and moved up to second as the throw came into third to put a pair in scoring position. Vandertie then singled through the infield allowing two runners to cross to even the game at two.
Lawrence added a run in the second, before adding a fourth run in the fourth inning to take a 4-2 lead. Alverno's offense got going again in the bottom of the fifth as Mathies reached on a one out single but was then erased on the base paths. Rice then followed with a solo home run to centerfield to pull the Inferno back within one. Jimenez reached on an error and moved up to second as the ball rolled away, Schmick then followed with a single but the Viking defense was able to time the throw to home plate and erase Jimenez as the tying run trying to score.
The Vikings added two insurance runs in the sixth on a two-run home run to take the 6-3 lead. Alverno got a leadoff single in the sixth but were unable to get the inning going, and then went down in the seventh in order.
Alverno (9-5) is scheduled to return home on Saturday, March 30 to open up Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference play against Concordia Wisconsin with first pitch slated for 12 p.m. from the Alverno Softball Field.