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Wildcat softball ends weekend 1-5

Photo by Evelyn Knox
Alyx Hagen

Rachel Vogt, Staff Writer

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The Wayne State softball team went 1 and 5 for the weekend facing Augustana, Minnesota State and Concordia St. Paul in a six game home series.

Wayne State first faced Augustana. Senior center fielder Jordyn Breitbarth said they expected Augustana to be an aggressive team.

“We practiced a lot of first and third drills,” said Breitbarth.

“We tried to practice outside as much as we could and worked around the weather. We knew they would like to take advantage of our mistakes and push the limits.”

The Augustana Vikings struck for seven runs in the first inning and three more in the second to take control of the opening game.

WSC scored two runs in the bottom of the first as junior Morgan Vasa had an RBI double to score senior Katelyn Wobken. Vasa later scored on an RBI single from senior Rachel Shumaker.

WSC scored its final run in the fourth inning when junior Taylor Menard singled to left field, scoring Shumaker.

Augustana added two runs in the top of the fifth inning to end the game with a final score of 12-3 in the fifth inning.

“We tried to limit mistakes and errors we made to not give them any opportunities to score,” said Breitbarth.

The second game saw the Vikings jump out to an early 4-0 lead with four more runs in the fourth to complete the sweep with the 9-1 victory in six innings.

Wayne State’s only run came in the third inning when junior Emily Chandler tripled to right field to score on Wobken.

The Wildcats turned around to face the Minnesota State Mavericks, splitting the two games each by one run.

“In softball you need a short memory,” said Breitbarth. “We didn’t dwell much on the Augie losses because we knew that Minnesota State was a totally different team.”

The opening game saw MSU hit a two-run homer with two out in the top of the seventh inning to give the Mavericks the 10-9 victory over the Wildcats.

Wayne State took a 2-0 lead in the first on a solo home run from Wobken and an RBI fielder’s choice by Shumaker.

MSU tied the game with two runs in the top of the fourth, but WSC regained the lead with a run in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI single from Chandler.

Minnesota State then erupted for five runs in the top of the fifth for a 7-3 lead, but the Wildcats matched the Mavericks with five runs in the bottom of the frame to regain the lead at 8-7. Chandler hit a three-run double in the inning, along with an RBI single from junior Baylee Rial.

Both teams scored one run in the sixth inning with WSC’s run coming on an RBI single from Breitbarth to give the ’Cats the lead at 9-8 entering the seventh inning.

The Mavericks then handed WSC the heartbreaking loss as Jess Meidl connected for a tworun homer over the center field wall, giving MSU the 10-9 win.

“They were the defending national champions, so we knew we needed to work hard,” said Breitbarth. “They’re a good hitting team and have a solid defense. After the first game, we started to adjust by focusing on the simple plays. One of our goals was to score first and keep answering to runs they scored. We knew from the first game that we could keep up with their hitting, so in the second we just kept it rolling. We also had great energy in the dugout that helped set the tone of the game.”

The Mavericks opened the scoring in the next game with two runs in the top of the third inning for the 2-0 lead.

WSC answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning to even the score as Shumaker recorded an RBI double while Chandler reached on a fielder’s choice to bring in another run.

The Wildcats took the lead for good at 3-2 in the bottom of the fourth on a two-out, solo homer from Breitbarth, the ’Cats then took advantage of two MSU throwing errors in the fifth inning to score two more runs for the 5-2 lead.

Minnesota State tied the score with three runs in the top of the sixth on a pair of walks and a Wildcat throwing error that scored three runs.

But that didn’t stop Wobken from ripping a one-out, solo homer over the left center field wall to give Wayne State the thrilling 6-5 victory over the Mavericks.

The Wildcats turned around yet again to face Concordia-St. Paul the following day.

“We knew Concordia had a pretty good ace pitcher,” said Breitbarth. “They put up a good fight.”

The Golden Bears used big innings in both games to hand the Wildcats two losses at 13-0 and 7-4.

In the first contest, both teams remained scoreless until the top of the third inning when CSP pushed across two runs thanks to a solo home run and another run reaching home on a wild pitch.

The Golden Bears then erupted for five runs in the top of the fourth inning with the big hit of the inning being a three-run home run. The fifth inning saw the Golden Bears tack on six more runs off five hits and one Wildcat error to close out the scoring at 13-0.

“After that first game we knew we needed to be more successful at the plate and we started to make the adjustment,” said Breitbarth. “We just couldn’t shut down Concordia’s hitting.”

After falling behind 2-0 in game two, the ’Cats tied the game at two in the bottom of the second inning. Junior Abbie Hix tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly from freshman Annie Grammar while Breitbarth tripled and scored on a wild pitch.

WSC took the lead in the fourth inning using an RBI single from Wobken and a bases loaded walk from Chandler to score Breitbarth, who reached on an infield single.

CSP reclaimed the 7-4 lead in the top of the fifth by scoring five runs off seven hits, powered by a two-run home run from designated player Amanda Parsons, who recorded her third home run of the day.

WSC was held at four runs for the rest of the contest and fell 7-4.

“We’re going to work on tuning up our defense for Winona,” said Breitbarth. “We’ll be working on first and third drills and cut drills.”

Wayne State will hit the road for it’s next six contests against Winona State in Winona, Minnesota, University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota, and seeing Minot State in Minot, North Dakota.

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Wildcat softball ends weekend 1-5