College softball: UWS finishes Florida trip with a flourish

Mar. 16—After a 1-5 start to the season, the Wisconsin-Superior softball team pulled its record above the .500 mark by winning seven of its last eight games at the Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic last week in Naples, Florida.

The week began with 1-0 and 4-1 losses to Westfield State and Widener, respectively, on Sunday, March 10.

The Yellowjackets' bats woke up quickly against St. Joseph's of Brooklyn in a 12-2 rout on Monday. Four players had multi-hit games led by Zoe Thomson, who was 3-for-3 with an RBI. Eureka scored five times in the top of the seventh to surprise the Yellowjackets 8-7 in the second game of the day. Carly Stuckmayer and Ellie Macal had three hits apiece for UWS.

The winning streak began in earnest on Tuesday with a 13-2 victory over Pitt-Bradford. Larissa Snyder was one of five Yellowjackets to record two hits and she added three RBIs. Jenna Hoops, another one with a two-hit game, homered for UWS. The second game was a tight 3-1 win over RIT. Macal went 3-for-4, while Superior native Indigo Fish drove in and scored a run.

After a day off, UWS dumped Alfred State 12-1. MyKenzie Leccia led the offense, going 3-for-3 with a double, two RBIs and two runs scored. Against Western Connecticut State, UWS won 3-2 as pitchers Bella Garley and Emma Pillion combined to allow only five hits.

The trip concluded with 11-1 and 10-1 wins over Lesley and Greenville, respectively, on Friday. Stuckmayer had three hits and Lily Hanson three RBIs in the first game, while UWS took over game two with an eight-run third inning.

Entering conference play, UWS's leading hitter is Stuckmayer at .413 through 14 games, while Larissa Snyder had five extra-base hits in 40 at-bats. Garley is 3-0 in the pitching circle for UWS with an earned-run average of 2.73.

UWS takes an 8-6 overall record into its Upper Midwest Athletic Conference opener vs. Northland in Superior on Friday, the first of nine consecutive games the Yellowjackets will play at NBC Spartan Sports Complex.

* St. Scholastica went 3-7 in Clermont, Florida at the Spring Games for its spring break trip.

The Saints lost 5-0 to Southern Maine and 9-0 to North Central (Ill.) to start their week on Sunday, March 10. The next day, a 6-1 decision over Geneva College marked CSS's first win of the season and the first Saints win for new coach Kallee Wilkins, though a 2-1 loss to Arcadia followed.

On Tuesday, the Saints scored all their runs in the top of the seventh inning to knock off St. Norbert 5-4, taking the lead on Samantha Paniagua's three-run homer. Nationally ranked Rowan followed, dealing CSS a 10-0 loss in five innings.

Wednesday included a 13-2 loss to Occidental and a 4-3 loss to Mitchell.

After a day off, CSS lost 6-5 to Chicago on its final day in Florida, but ended the trip on a high note by defeating Monmouth College 8-1. Emma Bolin had a 4-for-4 game in the finale, while Haley Rosenthal was 3-for-4 with an RBI.

Through 12 games, Bolin is CSS's leading hitter with a .457 batting average, though Aislin Dail leads the team in slugging and OPS and has a home run and five doubles in 26 at-bats. Rosenthal is CSS's leading pitcher, with a 1-4 record and a 3.10 ERA in 29 1/3 innings.

CSS is now 3-9 and will pick up the northern and outdoor parts of its schedule on March 30 at Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play opens April 3 at St. Catherine, while the Saints' first game in Duluth this year is April 9 vs. Augsburg.