Freshman Jessica Stocker (Des Moines, Iowa/Carlisle) picked up an infield single with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning of game one to lift the Buena Vista softball team to a thrilling 2-1 triumph over visiting Loras College on Wednesday afternoon. The Duhakws then held off a late BVU rally in the finale to edge the Beavers, 7-6.
Loras got a two-out RBI single in the second inning of the opener for a 1-0 lead, but the Beavers quickly tied things up in the bottom half. Fellow freshman Stephanie Hayden (Prairie City, Iowa/PCM) tripled to lead-off the inning and after a fly out and a strike out, she stole home as Allison Kirchgatter (Anton, Iowa/MV-AO), who had just walked, got in a rundown trying to steal second.
Neither team had another hit until a two-out single by Sam Engleman (Hawarden, Iowa/West Sioux) in the sixth for the Beavers. Loras looked to threaten in the seventh, getting runners to first and second with only one out before a sharp ground ball to short was fielded by Engleman, who tagged the runner headed to third and before throwing over to second for the final out.
Freshman Lesa Turnquist (Alta, Iowa/Alta) singled to lead off the eighth for BVU and moved up to second when fellow freshman Jordon Pilcher (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/George Washington) grounded out to second. Brooke Berkey (Colfax, Iowa/Colfax-Mingo) then grounded out softly to the pitcher which sent Turnquist to third. After fouling off a few pitches, Stocker then hit a sharp ground ball back up the middle which was stopped by a diving shortstop, but her throw to first was just late to give the Beavers the walk-off win.
The hit by Stocker was only the fourth hit of the contest for BVU. The Duhawks had three hits in the first three innings, but were then held to only three over the final five.
Senior Chancey Wilcke (Battle Creek, Iowa/BC-IG) went the distance to earn her team-leading 11th win of the year for BVU. She scattered just the six hits and struck out a season-high 10 batters, while not issuing a walk.
Game two was a pitcher’s duel early on with the two teams combining for only two hits over the first three innings.
Loras then broke the scoreless tie with a two-out, two-run home run in the fourth. BVU, however, got one of those runs back in the bottom half. Hayden and Wilcke picked up back-to-back singles with one out, with Hayden moving up to third on Wilcke’s. Freshman Erin Kliefoth (Exira, Iowa/Exira) then came through with a sacrifice fly to right for her 10th RBI of the year.
The Duhawks answered with two runs in the fifth to push their lead to 4-1, but the Beavers came right back with a pair of unearned runs in the bottom half. Pilcher got the rally going with a single before coming all the way around to score after a bunt single by Hayden was then thrown away by the third baseman. Berkey then scored after getting in a rundown on a suicide squeeze play.
Loras then plated three unearned runs in the sixth for a 7-3 lead, but the Beavers nearly pulled off the comeback in the seventh.
Turnquist reached on an error to start the inning and moved up to second when the throw then went wild. She later advanced to third with no outs after an illegal pitch. Pilcher then followed with an RBI single to left field before Berkey walked to bring the tying run to the plate. Stocker flied out to center to move Pilcher to third before Engleman drove a ball to right field which was caught on the run by the rightfielder near the foul line. Pilcher, however, scored on the play to make it 7-5, while Berkey moved up to second.
Hayden then reached and advanced to second on another error by the third baseman as Berkey came around to score to make it 7-6. Jami Webster (Spencer, Iowa/Spencer), who had taken over for Wilcke on the mound earlier in the game, nearly tied it when she scorched a liner to left center field which was caught by the centerfielder to end the game.
Berkey and Pilcher each finished 2-for-3 at the plate with two runs scored in the contest to help lead the charge offensively.
Wilcke (11-8) got the start and suffered the loss after going the first four innings and allowing two runs on just two hits. Webster was charged with five runs on only two hits over the final three innings.
Buena Vista is now 14-12 overall (4-6 IIAC) and will be back on the road this Saturday afternoon to play Wartburg College (6-28, 0-10 IIAC). First pitch of game one is scheduled for 2:00pm.
Check out photos of our student-athletes in action in the Beaver sports photo galleries.