STEVENS POINT (Press Release) – Elyse Nelson's two clutch hits in extra innings not only kept the UW-Stevens Point softball team alive but her walk-off bases-loaded single in the ninth gave the Pointers their first conference victory of the season, a 5-4 decision over the Yellowjackets of UW-Superior. The Pointers fell in game one, 13-4 in five innings.
In game one the Pointers tallied 12 including a two-run home run by Paige Meulemans but ended up stranding eight runners on base and committing four errors to fall behind and drop game one 13-4.
Nicole Henke, Kimberly Liegel each tallied two hits at the plate. Sara Babbitts took the loss, allowing seven runs, all earned and struck out three in 3.2 innings of work. Cassie Krum and Chelsea Hensler each saw action in relief.
"The first game was uncharacteristic of our team regarding how sloppy we played," said UW-Stevens Point head coach Tom Henke. "We committed four errors and if you added in the mental errors along with the physical errors, it would certainly be more. We just didn't get it done there and that's certainly not the game we want to remember today. We want to remember game two."
In game two, both teams tallied runs in the game's opening inning but the Yellowjackets pulled in front by two, 3-1, in the fifth thanks to a two-out double by Taylor VanDamme.
The Pointers answered with one run in the home half of the fifth on an RBI single by Henke but left the game-tying run stranded at third base to end the inning.
In the seventh, Kim Liegel's one out double plated Meulemans, knotting the score at 3-3, but the game-winning run was once again stranded at third.
In the eighth, a two-out double by Superior's Jenn Paul and a single up the middle by Kayla Blom once again put the Yellowjackets in front, 4-3.
In the home half of the inning Nelson connected on a Superior offering and sent the ball over the left field fence to tie the game at 4-4.
After a scoreless ninth by the ‘Jackets, the Pointers loaded the bases and Nelson once again came through, belting the game-winning single up the middle to give the Pointers the victory.
"I was thinking about pinch-hitting for her but sometimes you have to believe and let them swing their way out of a funk," said Henke. "I was happy to see her come up with that bases-loaded situation and she came through with a bullet."
Michelle Jones earned the victory, going the distance for her sixth win of the season. She scattered 12 hits and struck out six.
"I'm very proud of the team on how they continued to battle a very good hitting team in Superior," said Henke. "We found a way to win and it's great to get that first conference win. We are going to build on the momentum of this into a busy week next week."
UW-Stevens Point (12-8, 1-3 WIAC) returns to action on Monday, April 9 with a doubleheader against the Blue Devils of UW-Stout in Menomonie, weather permitting.
Courtesy: UWSP Press Release