Softball Starts Season in Indiana
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Viterbo University Softball team opened their 2023 season in Indiana with a three-game series against Indiana Tech, and a single game against Indiana University—Purdue University Columbus. The V-Hawks were swept by the Warriors (2-8, 1-14, 2-3) and dropped the match to the Crimson Pride, 3-4.
The V-Hawks started the season strong, with a run scored on their second at-bat of the year, as Makayla Nortman scored on an error following a Sydney Haakenson single. However, ITU responded with two runs in the bottom of the first. Nortman tied the game in the top of the second with a sacrifice fly that brought home Courtney Denton. The Warriors exploded for four runs in the bottom on four hits, and followed that with single runs in the third and fourth. The V—Hawks had runners on second and third in the sixth, but could not capitalize and lost 2-8.
Haakenson, Morgan James, and Haliegh Zanoni each had hits for Viterbo, while Jayme Koning led all players with three. Maddie Wilkey (0-1) recorded the loss while Koning (1-0) earned the win with three strikeouts.
In the night game, the Warriors took a commanding lead in the bottom of the second, with four runs on three hits. While Haakenson scored in the top of the third, Indiana Tech added to their lead with five more hits and four more runs. The bottom if the fourth saw six runs for ITU from three hits and three Viterbo errors, and the game ended 1-14 in five innings.
Haakenson, Brittney Slocum, and Logan Neblock each had hits for Viterbo, while three Warriors had two hits apiece. Ella Driebel (0-1) recorded the loss with two strikeouts, and Karra Leeger-Capraro (W, 3-0) had three strikeouts in 4.0 IP.
In the final game of the series, ITU started the scoring with one run in the second, and an unearned score in the third. James's single in the top of the fourth brought in Grace Brewer to put Viterbo on the board, and a 6-5-3 double play in the fifth kept the game within one run. Megan Jardine's sacrifice fly brought in Alina Garstka to tie the game in the top of the seventh, but the Warriors won the game in the bottom of the seventh on a V-Hawk error.
James and Neblock each had two hits for VU, while Jordan Dippel led all players by going 3-3 on the day. Ella Driebel (L, 0-2) had a single strikeout in 1.2 IP, while Carlye Walter (W, 2-1) had six in a full 7.0 innings.
In the final game of the weekend, IUPUC got off to strong start with three runs in the top of the first, but Slocum would also get Viterbo on the board. With a single that scored Nortman. Following a quick second inning, each team would score in the third, as the Pride had an RBI double and for the V-Hawks, Nortman recorded another single that eventually brought in Garstka. Jardine reached home in the fifth on a Nortman SAC fly to bring the game within one, but the Crimson Pride's defense stepped up late to hold onto the 3-4 lead.
Slocum had two hits and an RBI for the V-Hawks, while Rachel Cowan had two hits and three RBI's for IUPUC. Payton Lamont (L, 0-1) had a single strikeout, while Sydney Owens (W, 2-3) had four in 7.0 IP.
The V-Hawks return to action on Sunday, March 12 against Embry-Riddle (Ariz.) in the first game of their spring break trip in Tucson, Ariz.