MILWAUKEE – The Alverno softball team settled for a two-game split with the Mount Mary Blue Angels on Thursday evening on the Alverno Softball Field. In the opener, the Inferno won in convincing fashion with a strong 10-2, five-inning performance, before a late comeback attempt in game two fell short with Mount Mary escaping the game with a 7-4 victory.
Leading the way on the day for the Inferno was junior Sara Redlin, who tallied a bases-clearing double as she tallied a team-best three RBIs on the day. Senior Sam Korn drove in two in the opener, while classmate Andie Vandertie picked up a solo RBI in each game. Also picking up RBIs were senior Samantha Chapnick, junior Brandi Rice, sophomore Kaitlynn Schmick, and freshman Natalie Akin.
Vandertie led the team with four hits on the day, while Schmick was second on the team with three singles while scoring two runs. Senior Mackenzie Mathies had a pair of singles and scored a team-best three runs on the day, while Chapnick also had two hits and scored once.
Korn scored two runs, as did senior Carina Jimenez, who picked up one hit on the afternoon. Seniors Karli Selear and Dani Hood both scored runs as well, while Selear and Korn stole a base apiece during the doubleheader.
In the circle, it was Akin to pick up the five-inning win in the opener as she went the distance and struck out four batters while yielding just one earned run while scattering four hits.
Schmick started in the second game and went the first 3 2/3 innings and struck out three batters, fellow sophomore Lauren Greif came on and allowed one run as she finished the top of the fourth inning. Korn came on to pitch the final three innings and struck out two batters while yielding a solo home run in the final inning to the Blue Angels.
In the top of the first, the Blue Angels were able to manufacture a run on a one-out walk a groundout, a walk and a base hit to take an early 1-0 lead as Alverno came up to bat in the bottom of the first.
Mathies reached on a quick single to shortstop before Schmick singled to the opposite field to put a pair of runners on with one down. Vandertie was up next and dropped a single into centerfield allowing Mathies to score the tying run.
Both sides got singles in the second inning before Akin retired the side in order in the top of the third inning on a popup and two groundouts.
Mathies got the rally started again in the bottom of the third on an infield single before she was erased on a fielder's choice by Schmick. Vandertie singled to put two runners on before Jimenez walked to load the bases. Akin then blooped a line drive to second base that was dropped allowing one run to score to put the Inferno ahead, 2-1.
Redlin was up next and cleared the bases with a two-out double to the gap. Korn then struck a ball into the outfield that was dropped allowing Redlin to score, before Rice doubled to the opposite field to chase home Korn for a six-run inning as Alverno took a 7-1 advantage.
Mount Mary got a run back in the top of the fourth on an unearned run against Akin, but she was able to get the third out via strikeout to bring the Inferno back up to bat.
Vandertie got the next rally started with a one-out single and was erased on a fielder's choice by Jimenez. Akin then walked before Chapnick reached on an infield single allowing Jimenez to score. A miscue by the Blue Angels kept the inning alive before Korn made Mount Mary pay for the error with a single down the left field line allowing both Chapnick and Akin to score as the Inferno took an eight-run lead at 10-2.
Akin got the Blue Angels in order in the top of the fifth, to seal the victory for the Inferno.
In the second game Schmick allowed a two-out single in the top of the first but got out of the frame unscathed to bring up the bats once again.
Mathies reached on a one-out walk before Schmick singled to the opposite field. Vandertie was up next and fouled out, but with the momentum taking the pitcher toward the third base dugout some head's up baserunning by Mathies and Schmick moved the pair into scoring position. Jimenez was up next and reached on an error on a ball booted in the middle of the diamond allowing Mathies to score the game's first run.
After scoreless second and third innings the Blue Angels broke through in the top of the fourth with some timely two-out offense as Mount Mary scored six runs on four hits in the inning to take a 6-1 lead.
Korn then came on to pitch the fifth and retired the side in both the fifth and sixth frame before yielding a solo home run to lead off the top of the seventh inning before getting the next three in order.
Alverno's offense came back to life in the bottom of the seventh as Korn led off the inning with a walk. Two batters later, Mathies walked to put two runners on base. Schmick singled up the middle to chase Korn home, before Vandertie singled to bring around Mathies. Senior Cailey Jeske pinch ran for Vandertie as Jimenez came up to bat.
Jimenez sent a sinking line drive just in front of the Mount Mary second baseman, as all three runners reached. Jeske had just slightly rounded second as the ball was dropped by the fielder but the original 'safe' call by the umpire was overturned after the two umpires had conferred, despite the ball being dropped on a second attempt to retire Jeske for the crucial second out of the inning.
Akin then followed with a single down the left field line allowing Schmick to score Schmick before the final out was recorded as Mount Mary escaped the furious Inferno comeback attempt.
Alverno (11-25, 1-17 NACC) will return to Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference action on Friday afternoon, when the team visits Concordia Chicago for a league doubleheader beginning at 3 p.m.