MEQUON, Wis. – The Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference-leading Aurora University Spartans swept the Concordia University Wisconsin Softball team Thursday afternoon. The Spartans won game one 6-2, before completing the sweep with a 2-1, game-two victory at the CUW Softball Field.
Vanessa Hartzell of Aurora was in control of the opening game as she struck out 11 batters and allowed no earned runs in a complete-game effort. Hartzell also broke a scoreless tie in the top of the fifth with a solo home run. Laura Dierking also homered in the frame to give the Spartans a 2-0 lead.
Aurora would go on to add one run in the sixth inning, building a 3-0 lead before CUW plated two unearned in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Spartans would get the insurance they needed in the top of the seventh, scoring three times for the 6-2 win.
Senior Jamie Schuh (Freedom, Wis.) saw her scoreless innings streak get snapped at 18 as she was finally figured out in the fifth inning of game one. Schuh would take the loss, falling to 5-3 on the season. Schuh struck out one in 5.1 innings, while junior Felicia Meyer (Lewiston, Minn.) came on for the final 1.2 innings.
Game two saw a pitcher's duel between sophomore Melissa Perkins (Park Forest, Ill.) and Natalie Zanella. The Spartans got a run on the second batter of the game, a solo shot from Dierking. After that Perkins and Zanella were dominant as neither team scored until the seventh inning.
In the top of the seventh Aurora plated one unearned run taking a 2-0 lead. Perkins was pulled midway through the seventh as Schuh came on to get the team's final two outs.
Trailing by two in the bottom of the seventh, senior Mariah Giesseman (Sturgeon Bay, Wis.) quickly changed things for CUW with a solo home run. Zanella then got the next better out before Hartzell came on to strike out the final two batters, recording the save.
The Falcons managed just seven hits between the two games as Aurora's pitching was the story of the twinbill. Giesseman recorded a hit in each game, while freshmen Alexis Holsten (Oshkosh, Wis.) and Jennifer Reicher (Kewaskum, Wis.) scored the Falcons runs in game one.
CUW (13-13, 7-5 NACC) will return to action Saturday by visiting Benedictine University for a NACC doubleheader. The Falcons and Eagles are set for 12 p.m. first pitch.