La Crosse, Wis. – The Viterbo University softball team earned a doubleheader split with Clarke University in their Midwest Collegiate Conference Opener. After dropping game one 6-0, the V-Hawks responded with a 7-5 win in game two.
In the first game, both teams struggled to get their offense going over the first three innings as they had two hits apiece. The Crusaders of Clarke University would find their offense in the fourth, as they scored three runs on two hits and one error. They then added two more runs in the top of the fifth as Katie Philipp-Guerra led off with a homerun and Betsy Naumann hit an RBI single. The Crusaders capped off their scoring with a run in the top of the sixth.
Sophomore Ali VanHavermaet (Tomah, Wis.) suffered the loss in the first game as she gave up five runs on six hits in 4 1/3 innings. Freshman Erin Isaacson (Clintonville, Wis.) pitched the final 2 2/3 innings allowing one run on three hits. Clarissa Abell pitched the complete game for the Crusaders giving up six hits while striking out five and walking just one in seven innings of work. Maddy Podmolik (Fr. – Deerfield, Wis.) and Lizzy Dier (Fr. – Algoma, Wis.) each had two hits in the first game.
The Crusaders got on the board right away in game two and took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third inning. That lead would be short lived as the V-Hawks erupted for six runs in the bottom of the third inning. After VanHavermaet and Renee Pattison (Jr. – Durand, Wis.) each reached on an error, Podmolik loaded the bases with a walk. Sophomore Amanda Berg would then drive in a run with a single and junior Sami Weaver (Trempealeau, Wis.) drove in two runs with a double. Not wanting to be out done by her sister, Melissa Weaver (Sr. – Trempealeau, Wis.) followed that at bat with her second home run of the season to drive in three runs. The V-Hawks would get another long ball in the fifth as sophomore Emmalee Eckert (Altoona, Wis.) hit her second home run of the season with a solo shot.
VanHavermaet responded in game two and pitched very well allowing five runs on six hits in her fifth complete game of the season. She also allowed just one walk while striking out six. Danielle Stralow suffered the loss for the Crusaders giving up six runs on seven hits in 3 1/3 innings of work. Berg led the V-Hawks as she went 2-4 with a run scored and an RBI while the Weaver sisters combined for two hits, two runs scored and five RBI's.
The split sends the V-Hawks to 3-11 overall and 1-1 in conference action while the Crusaders are now 3-10 overall and 1-1 in MCC play. Viterbo will be back in action on Sunday when they host MCC foe Waldorf College. The doubleheader is scheduled for 1:00 pm at the Viterbo Outdoor Athletic Complex.