Spartans Off to 4-0 Start

Mar 2, 2014 | J.Crane

ROCHESTER, MINNESOTA - The University of Dubuque Softball team escaped the cold weather outside for four games inside the Rochester Dome over the weekend at the Luther Tournament. The Spartans went 4-0 with wins over St. Norbert, Gustavus-Adolphus, UW-Stevens Point, and Carleton. Sophomore Tori Woltz (Wykoff, Minn./Chatfield) led the UD offense with nine hits including three doubles and a home run. Junior Hannah Koerperich (Dubuque, Iowa/Hempstead) earned three of the four wins in 13 2/3 innings of work. 

Score by Innings                R H E
Spartans  5   1   0   4   3   -   -   13   14   1 
St. Norbert 0 3 0 0 0 - - 3 5 0
Win: Koerperich (1-0)     Loss: Rusch (0-2)

The Spartans started the 2014 season with a bang scoring five runs in the top of the first inning. In her first at-bat as a Spartan, Koerperich hit a three-run home run to score Jen Pohlman (West Branch, Iowa/West Branch) and Caitlin Aulwes (Edgewood, Iowa/Edgewood-Colesburg). UD would score two more runs in the inning on a RBI single by Woltz and sac fly by Gianna Kuras (Midlothian, Ill./Oak Forest). Dubuque would score another run in the second inning on a sac fly by Amber Meyer (Bernard, Iowa/Cascade). St. Norbert scored three in the bottom of the second to make the score 6-3. 

After a scoreless third, UD scored four runs in the fourth to take a 10-3 lead. The big play in the inning was a two-run single by Woltz. The Spartans used the long ball to end the game early with all three runs scoring on home runs. Meyer started the scoring with a solo home run to left field. After a walk by Koerperich, Kelli Gerace (DeKalb, Ill./DeKalb) hit a two-run home run to give UD a 13-3 lead. 

Pohlman led the Spartans offensively with three hits, three runs scored, and two stolen bases. 

Koerperich went the distance on the mound to earn the victory. She struck out six while allowing five hits and two walks. 

Score by Innings                   R H E
Gustavus Adolphus    1   0   1   1   0   1   0   0     4   9   0 
Spartans  0   0   0   0   2   2   0   1     5   10   0 
Win: Koerperich (2-0)     Loss: Williams (0-1)

The second game of the night for UD would start late on Saturday night and not finish up until almost 2:00 am on Sunday. The late finish was well worth it for the Spartans as Woltz hit an RBI single to score Koerperich in the bottom of the eighth inning. 

Trailing 3-0 after four and a half innings, UD began to get back into the game with two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Both runs scored on a RBI double to center field by Aulwes. Gustavus would score one in the top of the sixth before the Spartans would answer with two runs in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game at 4-4. Woltz hit a RBI double to score pinch runner Meggie Schmidt (Edgerton, Wis./Edgerton) before a single by Kuras tied the game. 

Koerperich earned her second win of the day in relief of starter Megan Loes (Cascade, Iowa/Cascade). Koerperich pitched 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief allowing only one hit and striking out three. 

Score by Innings                 R H E
Spartans  0   1   1   0   2   2   1     7   13   2 
UW-Stevens Point   0 0 0 1 0 0 0   1 1 3
Win: Koerperich (3-0)     Loss: Gorges (0-1)

After a short nights rest, the Spartans were back in action on Sunday afternoon against UW-Stevens Point. The UD pitching staff took control of the game by allowing only one hit and striking out six. Woltz continued her red-hot start at the plate with two hits including a home run. 

UD started the scoring in the second inning after an error by UW-SP put runners on second and third for Kuras with one out. Kuras grounded out to the first baseman to score Gurace. The Spartans would score again in the third on a RBI double by Gerace that scored Aulwes giving UD a 2-0 lead. UW-SP would score one in the fourth to make the score 2-1 UD. 

The Spartans would score two runs in the fifth, two in the sixth, and one in the seventh to pull away for the victory. 

Koerperich earned her third straight win by pitching 4 2/3 innings of relief. She struck out a season high six while allowing no hits 

Score by Innings                   R H E
Carleton 1 1 0 0 1 1 0   4 5 0
Spartans  0   0   0   1   0   8   X     9   11   0 
Win: Koerperich (4-0)     Loss: Davis (1-2)

In their final game of the week, the Spartans were slow getting the bats going before exploding for eight runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to pull out a 9-4 victory over Carleton. Meyer, Koerperich, Woltz Carlee Grunder (Wilton, Iowa/Wilton), and Ainsley Billesbach (Belvidere, Ill./Belvidere North) all had two hits in the game. 

UD was down 2-0 heading into the bottom of the fourth when they manufactured a run. After a Koerperich walk and sac bunt by Gerace, Grunder singled to pull within one. Carleton would score one in the fifth and sixth to take a 4-1 lead going into the bottom half of the inning. 

The eight run sixth was highlighted by a three-run home run by Grunder that tied the game at 4-4. A RBI double by Billesbach scored Dia Borden (Modesto, Calif./Ceres) to give UD a 5-4 lead with no outs in the inning. A walk by Aulwes loaded the bases and was the eight straight Spartans to reach safely. A triple by Meyer cleared the bases and gave UD a 8-4 lead. Koerperich would single to score Meyer for the final run of the game. 

Koerperich picked up her fourth win of the weekend with 1 1/3 hitless innings of relief. 

UP NEXT: The Spartans return to the Rochester Dome for two games on March 7th. UD opens with Hamline University at 7:45 pm before playing UW-Stout in the nightcap at 9:45. 

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