Wayne State scored seven runs in the top of the seventh inning in the opener to rally for an 8-6 win while senior first baseman Emily Chandler became Wayne State’s all-time RBI leader in the second game with a two-run homer to highlight a 4-3 win and complete a sweep at Minnesota Crookston Saturday afternoon in the season finale for both teams in Northern Sun Conference softball. The Wildcats end the year with three straight wins and end at 15-32 and 6-24 in the NSIC while UMC is now 13-42 and 2-28 in league play.
The ‘Cats trailed 5-1 entering the top of the seventh in the opener, but produced seven runs on six hits and three Golden Eagle errors to storm back for the improbable win.
Raquell Penke started the rally with a two-run single that scored Kamryn Sparks and Taylor Menard. Kortney Buresh and Kim Vidlak each added run-scoring singles in the inning. The final runs to cap the rally scored when Emily Chandler reached on an error to bring home Vidlak and Buresh.
WSC had 16 hits in the win – all singles, paced by Abbie Hix going 3 for 4. Penke ended 2 for 4 with two RBI and two runs scored while Vidlak, Chandler, Menard, Sparks and Morgan Vasa each had two singles for WSC.
Sophomore Maddie Moser pitched a complete game win for the Wildcats, fanning six batters while allowing just six hits and six runs (one earned).
The second game saw WSC build a 4-0 lead, then hold back a Golden Eagle rally in the final two innings to complete the sweep with a 4-3 win.
WSC opened the scoring in the first with two runs when Chandler blasted a two-run homer scoring Vidlak (error).
The two RBI’s made Chandler the all-time RBI leader at Wayne State with 148, surpassing the previous mark of 146 held by the late Kaiti Williams (2012-15).
Wayne State claimed a 4-0 lead in the top of the sixth with two runs as Menard doubled and came home on a Kamryn Sparks two-run blast.
Meanwhile, Wildcat senior starter Riley Vanderveen was shutting down the Golden Eagles, firing four innings of no-hit ball until yielding a leadoff double to open the fifth.
But UMC started to hit Vanderveen in the sixth and scored three runs on four hits in the inning to cut the Wildcat lead to 4-3.
The Golden Eagles loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh on Wildcat reliever Maddie Moser, but a ground out to first base to end the game allowed WSC to finish with a thrilling 4-3 win and a sweep to cap the season.
The Wildcats had eight hits in the win, led by two-run homers from Chandler and Sparks. Menard ended 2 for 2 with a double while Michaela Smith, Penke, Vasa and Vidlak each added hits.
Vanderveen was declared the winning pitcher for WSC, now 4-6 on the year. She worked five innings and gave up five hits and three runs while Moser collected her first save of the year with two innings in the circle, allowing one hit with one strikeout and two walks.
The games marked the final contests for six Wildcat seniors – Emily Chandler, Abbie Hix, Taylor Menard, Baylee Rial, Morgan Vasa and Riley Vanderveen.