RIVER FOREST, Ill. – The Alverno softball team notched a conference victory in the opener of Friday afternoon's doubleheader against the Concordia Chicago Cougars by the score of 6-3. In game two it was the home team to come out on top as the Cougars salvaged the split with a 5-4 walk-off victory in the seventh inning.
On the day a pair of Inferno had four hits as seniors Carina Jimenez and Andie Vandertie both tallied four singles apiece, while each drove in one run apiece. Jimenez led the Inferno with three runs scored on the day, while seniors Sam Korn and Mackenzie Mathies also scored two runs apiece.
Sophomore Kaitlynn Schmick had three hits on the day with one run scored and an RBI, while Korn along with sophomore Lauren Greif and freshman Natalie Akin each had two hits on the day. Greif along with senior Samantha Chapnick both registered two RBIs apiece, while senior Karli Selear scored a run with junior Brandi Rice drawing one of Alverno's eight walks on the day.
In terms of pitching it was Lauren Greif to turn in another complete-game performance in the opener as she pieced up the win by allowing two earned runs while striking out three and scattering 10 hits.
Akin started in the second game and went the first five innings while striking out a pair and yielding four runs on seven hits. Greif came back on to pitch and yielded the final run while falling one out shy of sealing the sweep for the Inferno.
The Inferno got off to a quick start in the top of the first inning as Akin singled to the opposite field to get the rally started. Two batters later, Mathies singled on an infield base knock allowing Korn, pinch-running for Akin, to advance to second. Shmick then singled to the opposite field to plate the game's first run before Jimenez connected on an RBI single. The big blow of the inning came on a two-run single off the bat of Greif to plate both Jimenez and Schmick.
Helping her own cause in the top of the inning, Greif went to work in the bottom half of the inning and got the first two batters in order. The next three batters singled, allowing one run to score, before Greif struck out the sixth batter of the inning to strand a pair of Cougars.
Alverno's 4-1 lead held until the fifth inning as Vandertie got a one-out rally started with a base hit. Jimenez singled to put two runners on, a groundout moved the pair into scoring position for Chapnick, who doubled to left field allowing Vandertie and Jimenez to score while swelling Alverno's lead to five.
Greif retired the side in order in the bottom of the fifth, and worked her way into and out of trouble in the sixth as she stranded the bases loaded without allowing a run. In the seventh, Concordia Chicago got the first two runners on before Greif got the next two. The second error of the inning loaded the bases before the Cougars connected on a two-run single. The Inferno sophomore was able to close the door on a fly ball to right to give the Inferno the 6-3 victory.
Alverno's offense stranded a pair of runners on in the first inning following a two-out walk by Mathies and a single by Schmick. Akin then followed by setting down the Cougars in order in the bottom half of the first frame.
Jimenez got the offense started up again in the second with a walk followed by a single off the bat of Akin. Chapnick advanced the pair with a bunt before Korn drove in the game's first run with a single to centerfield. A wild pitch with Greif at bat allowed Selear, running for Akin, to score to giving Alverno an early 3-0 lead.
Akin breezed through the second, third and fourth innings to bring Alverno up to bat to kick off the fifth inning. Schmick got a one-out single followed by another base knock by Vandertie, Jimenez reached on an error to load the bases with one down. Akin then hit a line drive back to the originator allowing the Cougars to turn a quick double play to escape the jam.
Off the quick momentum shift, Concordia Chicago led off the bottom of the fifth with a solo home run. Four hits later the Cougars tied the game at three to send the game into the sixth.
Alverno went down in order in the top of the sixth inning, as the Cougars came back up to bat in the bottom of the inning and scratched across a single run as Greif came on after Akin yielded a leadoff single.
The Inferno did not go down quietly as Mathies reached on a one-out walk. Schmick grounded out allowing Mathies, carrying the tying run, to advance to third. Vandertie singled to left centerfield allowing Mathies to trot home with the fourth Inferno run to even the game once again.
However, in the bottom of the seventh inning Greif got the first out before allowing a one-out walk. An infield single put runners on the corners before the trail runner stole second. Greif then issued an intentional walk to load the bases with one down, setting up the force on at the plate or a double play situation. Greif got the next batter to pop out, but the Cougars singled with two down allowing the game-winning run to score as Concordia Chicago picked up the walk-off victory.
Alverno (12-26, 2-18 NACC) will conclude the 2019 season on Sunday, as the Inferno will host the Dominican Stars for a 2 p.m. start on Alverno Field in Milwaukee.