MARQUETTE, Mich. – Concordia University Wisconsin's softball team opened its 2013 season with a pair of one-run losses Saturday at Finlandia University Dome Tournament. The Falcons dropped its opener to No. 16 Carthage College, 11-10, before falling to Simpson College, 7-6. Simpson is receiving votes in the NFCA Coaches' Preseason Poll.
In game one against the Lady Reds, CUW rallied for five runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, but was unable to get the tying run across as Carthage escaped with the one-run victory.
The Falcons belted three home runs in the season-opener as sophomore Jessica Liszka (Lindenhurst, Ill.) , senior Cara Landherr (Waukesha, Wis.) and junior Mariah Giesseman (Sturgeon Bay, Wis.) all recorded round-trippers. Landherr finished the contest 2-for-3 with 3-RBIs and two runs scored, while Giesseman was 2-for-2 with 3-RBIs. Junior Alyssa Robison (Roselle, Ill.) belted a bases-clearing triple for CUW.
Big innings gave the Lady Reds the edge as they scored three or more runs in three different frames. Carthage (4-0) tallied three in the fourth, four in the fifth, and three more in the seventh inning. Alyse Mikolas had a monster game for the Lady Reds as she hit two home runs and drove in seven while going 3-for-4.
Tina Campbell earned the win on the mound for the Lady Reds, throwing 4.1 innings and striking out five. Freshman Melissa Perkins (Park Forest, Ill.) took the loss for CUW, also striking out five in her collegiate debut.
CUW struck first as Landherr smacked her home run in the bottom of the first inning, scoring her and senior Holly Zinnecker (Roscoe, Ill.) and putting the score at 2-0. Carthage's three-run fourth gave them the lead but CUW answered with a run in the bottom of the inning on a Giesseman home run. Carthage would take the lead back in the top of inning number five with four runs and held a six-run lead until the Falcons scored five in the bottom of the seventh.
In the second game Saturday, CUW again came up just short against the Storm. Robison drove in four runs in the loss as she hit a grand slam in the bottom of the sixth inning. Liszka added two hits in the loss for CUW, while Giesseman tallied 2-RBIs.
The Storm (2-0) built a 6-0 lead after five innings before the Falcons came soaring back with five runs in the top of the sixth, highlighted by the Robison grand slam. CUW would tie the game in the top of the seventh when Liszka scored on a Storm error but Simpson answered with a walk-off single in the bottom of the inning.
Final stats for the Simpson game will be available later today on cuwfalcons.com.
CUW (0-2) will play two more games at the Finlandia University Dome Tournament tomorrow when they take on a pair of WIAC schools. The Falcons will face UW-La Crosse at 2:00 p.m. before taking on UW-Stevens Point at 3:45 p.m.