MEQUON, Wis. – A steady rain and sub-40 degree temperatures were not going to stop Concordia University Wisconsin's seniors during the final home games of their careers on Saturday afternoon. The four softball leaders led the Falcons to a dramatic 5-4 victory in the opener on a walk-off, hit-by-pitch in the bottom of the eighth inning before run-ruling Dominican University, 8-0 in five innings, to complete a sweep in Northern Athletics Conference play.
CUW battled back from a 4-1 deficit to send the game into an extra frame and won on one of the rarest plays in softball. After a flyout, the Falcons hit three-consecutive singles to load the bases for Chelsie Strosina (Burlington, Wis.). After running the count full, the senior catch took a pitch off her shin to push the winning run across plate.
In the nightcap, senior pitcher Danielle Burke (Burlington, Wis.) limited the Stars to five hits in a shutout victory. CUW (22-14, 17-5 NAC) scored a pair of runs in the second and third frames, prior to plating four runs in the bottom of the fifth to run-rule DU (19-19, 12-10 NAC).
Senior pitcher Sheri Weidner (Mount Prospect, Ill.) earned the victory during the first game after throwing three shutout innings. The righty allowed one hit and struck out three for her second victory of the season. In addition, senior outfielder Sarah Cochran (Bloomington, Ill.) recorded three critical doubles throughout the series and scored twice.
Freshman Jessica Liska (Lindenhurst, Ill.) led all players with four hits, while junior Abbie Goetsch (Grayslake, Ill.) drove in four runs and finished with seven total bases. In addition, freshman Sara Skarda (Pleasant Praire, Wis.) and junior Holly Zinnecker (Roscoe, Ill.) each finished with a pair of sacrifice hits.
A trio of DU players finished with three hits in the series, while Melissa Summaria drove in three of the Stars four runs. Emily Mahoney took the loss in the opener after striking out eight in 7.1 innings pitched and 153 pitches thrown.
The doubleheader sweep secured the No. 3 seed in the Northern Athletic Conference Tournament for the Falcons, which begins on Thursday. CUW concludes its regular season on Sunday with a doubleheader at Wisconsin Lutheran College beginning at 12 p.m.