V-Hawks Fend Off Warriors, Earn NSAA Series Sweep

Viterbo University fended off the Waldorf University softball team in a pair of tightly-contested battles during Thursday’s North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) doubleheader.

Three solo home runs fueled the V-Hawks (15-23, 12-6) to a 3-0 win in the opener and they held on for a 4-2 victory during the nightcap to sweep the four-game conference series.

Junior Hattie Hupke went 2-for-3 to lead the Warriors (13-21, 7-15) in the opener. Waldorf received singles from junior Kennedy Vinchattle, senior Trista Bures and freshman Payge Jurgens while outhitting Viterbo.

Despite collecting just four hits, the long ball propelled the V-Hawks as Sarah Obert, Elli Anderson and Abigail Giese delivered solo home runs.

Viterbo’s Kayla McInerney (5-11) picked up the win. She struck out two batters, walked three and yielded two hits in five innings. Bailey Thur recorded her first save of the season, tallying a strikeout and issuing a walk while giving up three hits in the final two innings.

Waldorf junior Kaylie Brindley (8-10) was tagged with the loss. She fanned one and allowed three runs after scattering four hits in six innings.

Anderson cleared the center-field fence with a solo homer in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Giese smashed a solo homer to lead off the fifth.

The V-Hawks left the yard for the third straight inning, receiving a solo shot from Obert to lead off the sixth.

Threatening late in the game, the Warriors left the bases loaded in the sixth and stranded two runners in the seventh. Three of Waldorf’s five hits came in the final two innings. The Warriors couldn’t cash in as they left 10 runners on base.

Hupke paced Waldorf during the nightcap, going 3-for-4 with a double. Sophomore Madison Mason and Bures notched RBI singles. Senior Brittani Sanchez and junior McKenna Marcinkowski contributed singles as the Warriors finished with seven hits.

Anderson keyed the V-Hawks, plating a 2-for-3 performance with a two-run homer. Thur added a solo homer to help Viterbo collect seven hits.

Obert (3-6) scored the win. She walked two and relinquished two runs on four hits in four innings. Caitlyn Kozik recorded two strikeouts, gave up a walk and three hits while pitching three scoreless innings.

Waldorf junior Briley Sullivan (4-8) was hooked with the loss, surrendering three runs on three hits during a relief appearance spanning one-third of an inning.

Marcinkowski started inside the pitcher’s circle for the Warriors and threw strong for five and one-third innings. She punched out three batters and issued just one walk while scattering two hits.

Brindley allowed a run on two hits as she closed out the final one-third inning.

Bures laced a two-out single in the top of the first to score Hupke.

A fifth-inning single from Mason brought home Bures to push Waldorf to a two-run cushion.

After being silenced with just two hits through five innings, the V-Hawks went on top with a four-run sixth. Anderson crushed a two-run homer. Thur came through with two outs, knocking it out of the park with a solo shot. Sarah Throgmorton belted an RBI single to cap the inning.

Sanchez reached base on a one-out error in the seventh, but Kozik forced a fly out and a groundout to bring the game to a close.

The Warriors return to action next Sunday as they step away from nonconference play to host Mount Marty College (10-18) in a 1 p.m. twin bill.

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