Softball perseveres

The UW-Platteville Softball team had a tough start to their week in a double-header against UW-Whitewater. It was a cold day in Platteville making conditions rough for players both on and off the field.

The first game began with UW-Platteville playing well, as the team gave next to no ground in the first five innings of the game.  Starting pitcher and freshman elementary education major Abby Burns earned three strikeouts in those first five innings, keeping batters honest by throwing clean strikes.

The game turned south in the sixth inning when a UW-Whitewater runner made it to first base and subsequently stole second base.  That runner then made it to third base and managed to make it home before UW-Platteville was able to close out the inning, resulting in UW-Whitewater taking a 1-0 lead.

In their remaining at-bats, UW-Platteville tried to tie the game, but they could not come back with only two innings remaining.  They ended the first game of the double-header with a 1-0 loss, took half an hour to regroup, then began their second game.

The second game began on a high note for UW-Platteville with a run right away in the first inning.  They kept this momentum going in the third inning as sophomore computer science major Jessy Tanel hit an explosive double that invigorated the crowd and team.  First baseman and junior biology major Rachel Martin hit another double in the same inning to send Tanel home.

In the fifth inning, UW-Platteville scored again with a run hit by Burns, giving UW-Platteville a 3-0 lead over UW-Whitewater to begin the sixth inning.

UW-Whitewater rallied from their deficit, scoring one run in the sixth, then three more in the seventh inning.  They held UW-Platteville to three runs in both the sixth and seventh innings, resulting in a final score of 4-3 in favor of UW-Whitewater.

Freshman engineering major Zeke Bussan stopped by to watch the games.

“They were close games, and heartbreaking losses, but I have to be honest, both teams played really well,” Bussan said.

The losses were tough, but they gave UW-Platteville the drive to continue working to better their gameplay.

UW-Platteville head coach Andie Varsho has shown a great deal of confidence in this team throughout the season.

“Our numbers are a lot better than last year, and, right now we’re competing with everyone in the WIAC.  I love working with this squad, and, as time goes on we’re only getting better.  As far as the remainder of our season goes, if we show up and do our jobs, we have a fighting chance of going somewhere this year and next year,” Varsho said.

Tanel expressed her confidence in her teammates and their ability to continue doing well into next season.  Tanel said that the team is ready to face the rest of the season with the same enthusiasm they started the season with and with an equally enthusiastic coach, Tanel is confident that they’ll end this season with strong performances and begin next year with a team capable of going the distance.

The team performed well the rest of the week, earning two wins against UW-Stevens Point, a win and a loss against UW-River Falls and two one-point losses against UW-Stout.  They will play another double-header at UW-La Crosse on Thursday, April 26, and finish the regular season with a double-header against UW-Oshkosh at home.