Luther College Chips

Softball first in conference with win over Nebraska Wesleyan

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Abby Gehringer (‘20) squares up to the plate.

Abby Gehringer (‘20) squares up to the plate.

Olivia Enquist (‘19) | Chips

Olivia Enquist (‘19) | Chips

Abby Gehringer (‘20) squares up to the plate.

Olivia Enquist, Staff Writer

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After unexpected snow showers and poor field conditions forced game rescheduling, Luther Women’s Softball swept their double-header home opener against Nebraska Wesleyan University on Sunday, April 22. Luther won 4-2 and 8-3. The team now ranks first in the Iowa Conference standings.

Shortstop Anna Strien (‘18), who finished the first game with multiple hits going 2 for 4 with runs batted in [RBI], was excited about the outcome of the game.

“I would have to say the team showed a lot of resiliency, especially in the first game,” Strien said. “Not to mention I felt after the win in that first game we carried that mentality directly into the second game and it paid off for sure.”

The first game was a hard-fought win, as the teams seemed evenly matched. Third baseman Paige Timmerman (‘20) tied the game with a pinch hit double in the sixth. The score remained tied 2-2 through the bottom of the seventh inning. With one out in the inning, infielder Natalie Stockman (‘18) hit a two-run walk off home run going over the left field fence. Stockman’s home run broke the tie and she finished the game 3 for 4.      

“I was so glad to see our bats come alive again,” third baseman Blake Banowetz (‘19) said. “Natalie’s walk-off was sweet. Then in the second game we were able to really get it going. Our defense and pitching performances remained strong throughout both games, which was great to see.”

The women’s softball team carried the momentum from their first game win into their second, scoring 10 hits over the course of the game. Half of those hits occurred within the third inning with five runs scored. Stockman and Banowetz both drove in two runs over the course of the game. Strien, second baseman Bailey Victoria (‘19), and infielder Elsa Skeie (‘21) all drove in one hit. Skeie’s hit a solo home run in the fifth inning and the first of her career.   

Olivia Enquist (‘19) | Chips
Samantha Bratland (‘19) winds up for the pitch.

Pitcher Courtney Cooper (‘21) was credited for the win in the second game. Cooper pitched five hits, only three of which were earned runs, walked two batters, and struck out three. Cooper liked that the win was a collaborative team effort.

“It was a great team win and it was so much fun having the bats come alive in the second game,” Cooper said. “With it being our first home opener and senior day, it was awesome to end with two conference wins.” 

In addition to the April 22 double-header being the home opener, the team also celebrated senior night.

“We have amazing seniors who are not only top-notch athletes but also fantastic people,” Cooper said. “It was nice to have a day dedicated just for them and all of their hard work over the years.”

Sweeping the double header gave the Luther Women’s Softball team a league record of 5 to 1, and 27 to 3 overall keeping them at the number nine position within the league. The team will host Loras College Tuesday April 24 at 2 p.m.

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