The women’s softball team split a pair of games on Sunday, Apr. 17, as the Pointers fell short in the first game but came back to earn the win in the second game of the day.
In game two on Sunday, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point took an early lead in the bottom of the first inning after Kirsten Perkinson doubled on a line drive to left field, and Katie Uhlenbrauck drove Perkinson home on an RBI single to left field.
The Pointers added to their lead in the bottom of the third inning when Perkinson and Uhlenbrauck struck again. Perkinson singled on a fly ball to center field and then scored when Uhlenbrauck hit an RBI double to left field.
The Pointers’ two-run lead was wiped out in the top of the fourth inning when the Falcons scored three runs on a double from Shannan Borchardt, a single from Mady Bunnell, and a double from Abby Veloske.
Down by one run, the Pointers evened the score immediately in the following half-inning on an RBI single to center field by Bailie Sheahan which scored Morgan Johnson, who had also singled to center field.
Johnson went 3-for-8 on the day with 3 RBIs.
The Falcons were quick to retaliate and scored another run in the top of the fifth inning. River Falls’ Ali Murray, who had reached on an error, scored on an RBI single to left field by Borchardt. UWSP pitcher Maddie Durie and the defense kept the Falcons from scoring for the remainder of the game.
The Pointers found themselves down 3-4 in the bottom of the seventh inning with only their final three outs left to give.
Payton Mix gave the Pointers the start they needed when she singled on a line drive to center field. Sheahan stepped up to the plate to battle against River Falls’ pitcher Payton Speckel and sent one soaring over the left-center-field fence claiming the lead and the win for her team.
“I think as of now we are starting to find who we are as a team and how the chemistry is being played out,” said Sheahan, who went 4-for-7 with 3 RBIs on the day. “Our team overall is very funny and lighthearted, but we are pretty serious when it comes to competing.”
In the first game on Sunday, the Pointers fell to the Falcons by a score of 8-9, despite tallying 12 hits and 8 runs. The game went into extra innings until River Falls’ Michelle LaCasse homered over the left-field fence, giving the Falcons the offense they needed to win the game.
Looking forward to the rest of the season, Uhlenbrauck, a sophomore who made some outstanding defensive grabs at third base and went 3-for-6 at the plate with 3 RBIs on the day, said, “We have a very young team with a lot of talent and potential to compete with the top teams in the WIAC. Our main goal is to make it to the conference tournament. We just need to play one game at a time and focus on the things only we can control.”
Echoing Uhlenbrauck’s hopes to make it to the conference tournament, Sheahan said, “Since it is my last year, just making it to the conference tournament once in my college career would really be something. I think we have enough talent on this team to where we can really do it.”
Steltenpohl’s goals for the rest of the season are for her team to continue to build and grow together.
“We’re an extremely young team. We have so many freshmen, so the more games we get under our belt, the better it’s getting,” she said. “Despite the outcome, every game that we play, we’re getting better.”
The Pointers played two tough games on Saturday as well against the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Eagles. The Pointers came up short, losing both games by scores of 2-5 and 2-4.
Of the games against the Eagles, Steltenpohl said, “Saturday was just a matter of a little bit more clutch hitting. Although I think we put ourselves in a good position to win, we just didn’t have that clutch hitting.”
The Pointers are 8-17 overall on the season and are looking to continue to improve in the coming weeks.