MILWAUKEE – The Alverno softball team got back to action on Sunday afternoon as the team travelled to nearby Wisconsin Lutheran College for a two-game trip against the host Warriors. Alverno fell in the opener by a score of 2-1 before dropping the second game by an 8-1 margin.
Alverno was held to just seven hits on the day, as it was freshman Natalie Akin to lead the way with two hits on the day. Five others notched singles on the day as seniors Sam Korn, Carina Jimenez, Mackenzie Mathies and Andie Vandertie, along with sophomore Kaitlynn Schmick each had singles. Korn had the teams' lone RBI on the day with her run-scoring sacrifice fly coming in the opener.
Mathies and junior Sara Redlin had one stolen base apiece, while the Warriors amassed a dozen stolen bases between the two games. Senior Samantha Chapnick drew the team's only walk, while Korn was also hit by a pitch to up her on-base percentage.
In the circle, Schmick got the start in both matchups and tossed all six innings in the opener while yielding two runs on eight hits with four strikeouts. She started game two as well and was touched up for three earned runs in two innings before classmate Lauren Greif came on and allowed two more earned runs over four innings of work.
In the closely-contested opener, Alverno went down in order to open up the game in the top of the first inning. The Warriors came up and got the first two runners on base before a single brought home the game's first run. Two batters later, Wisconsin Lutheran got another run across with a sacrifice fly to take a 2-0 lead.
Alverno got its offense started in the second inning as Akin singled before senior Dani Hood pinch ran. Vandertie then followed with a single to put two runners on with nobody out. A wild pitch moved Hood and pinch runner Kaitlynn Johnson up into scoring position before Korn was up to bat. The senior sent a fly ball into centerfield that was caught, allowing Hood to tag and score the first run to trim the lead in half at 2-1.
Wisconsin Lutheran got a runner into scoring position over the next several innings, but Schmick was able to limit the damage and keep the Warriors ahead by just one run.
In the top of the sixth Alverno tried to jump start its offense as Mathies singled on a bunt before stealing second. However, the Inferno were unable to get the key hit needed to bring the tying run across the plate.
Schmick was able to retire the side in order in the sixth to give Alverno one last chance in the top of the seventh, but the Warriors ended the top of the seventh with a 1-2-3 inning to seal the conference victory.
Wisconsin Lutheran got out to another quick lead in the second game as the Warriors scored one run in the bottom of the first inning before tacking on three more in the bottom of the second. Greif came on to start the bottom of the third and the Warriors added an unearned run to take a five-run advantage.
Offensively Alverno was held to just one hit over the first three innings before Akin singled to kick off the top of the fourth. Senior Karli Selear ran for Akin but was erased and moved up to second on a defensive lapse by the Warriors on Vandertie's fielder's choice. Jimenez reached on a single to load the bases as Schmick came up and grounded out allowing Selear to score Alverno's first run of the second game.
Wisconsin Lutheran added two more runs in the fourth inning and then one last run in the bottom of the fifth to cap off the scoring at 8-1 in favor of the Warriors.
Alverno threatened in the top of the fifth as Korn was hit by a pitch to start off the inning before Mathies used her speed to force a defensive miscue by the Warriors to put runners at the corners with two outs. However, the Inferno were unable to get the knock needed to chip away the score.
Korn got another rally started in the top of the seventh with a one-out infield single before Chapnick walked to put two runners on. However, the Warriors got the next two batters in order to seal the conference sweep over the Inferno.
Alverno (9-7, 0-2 NACC) will return home on Monday afternoon for a make-up doubleheader with Concordia Wisconsin, that had been postponed from Saturday. The afternoon will begin at 3 p.m. from the Alverno Softball Field in Milwaukee.