April 9, 2013

South Siders take two from Vikings, hand Warhawks first loss

This weekend, the Maroons capped off two victories against Lawrence by handing UW–Whitewater its first loss of the season. The South Siders (12–6) secured two wins against the Vikings, and then split their doubleheader against the Warhawks.

On Saturday, the South Siders won two games against the Vikings at home. The Maroons came out strong, scoring a run in the first inning when first-year Kristin Lopez plated fourth-year Jacqueline Ryan with a double. Lawrence responded quickly, however, tying it up at 1–1 in the next inning.

Much of the game went scoreless with both pitchers putting in strong performances. In the sixth, Chicago fell behind as Lawrence scored another run off a leadoff double.

The Maroons fought back, scoring two runs in the bottom of the seventh. With third-year Maddie McManus on first, fourth-year Vicky Tomaka hit a fly ball over the fence to give the South Siders a 3–2 victory in the first game. Chicago carried this momentum into the following game despite falling behind in the second. Third-year Kaitlyn Carpenter led the team with two runs, three hits and four RBIs on the way to a 6–2 win.

The Maroons faced the Warhawks in Whitewater, WI on Sunday. Chicago scraped out a 3–2 win in the first game, before the Warhawks rallied in the second game to defeat the South Siders 5–4.

“During today’s games versus Whitewater, the team came out ready to go against an undefeated team,” fourth-year Kim Cygan said. “Our defense looked great, and we put the pressure on them on offense throughout the game. We did a great job playing with the relaxed intensity mindset that we always strive for.”

In game one, the Maroons got off to another fast start as Lopez and Ryan scored in the top of the first. Carpenter added another run in the second to take a 3–0 lead. The Maroons did not score again, but relied on strong defense to hold the Warhawks to a run in each of the second and sixth innings, ending the game at 3–2 and bringing UW–Whitewater’s winning streak to an end.

However, the Warhawks weren’t held down for long, and fought back to win the second game. The Maroons took control of the game early with four runs in the first inning from Ryan, Carpenter, Lopez, and first-year Jordan Poole to take the lead, 4–0. After this initial onslaught, Chicago was unable to score again due to strong pitching from UW–Whitewater first-year Bekka Houda, who pitched all seven innings to earn the win.

UW–Whitewater trailed 4–3 when it came up to bat in the bottom of the seventh, but the Warhawks were able to score two runs, finishing off the game with a 5–4 victory. This is the fourth consecutive season that UW–Whitewater has split its doubleheader with Chicago.

The Maroons will face Illinois–Wesleyan (16–5) in their next doubleheader. The Titans have had a strong season thus far, and are coming off two victories against Elmhurst College. As a whole, the team has a .319 batting average, which is comparable to Chicago’s current average of .340.

“For Tuesday we will need to be ready to go from the start, and specifically finish more when we have runners on base,” Cygan said. “Our goal is always to score every inning. We do a great job getting runners on base every inning but moving forward we want to get more runs on the board throughout the game.”

The Maroons will play Illinois–Wesleyan on Tuesday at home at 3 p.m.