Softball picks up second sweep of the week

Katie LaDuke, Managing Editor

Oakland softball once again called Madonna University “home” as it hosted Green Bay for a three-game series April 8-9. Pushing their winning streak to six games in a row, the Golden Grizzlies took the series 3-0 to move their record to 8-4 in the Horizon League.

“We’ve been playing great lately, so it was a little unexpected that we started playing a little off with our defense,” head coach Connie Miner said in a postgame GrizzVision interview. “Some games come easy, and some you’re challenged, so it’s really how you respond to it.”

Opening the series on Saturday, Erin Kownacki, earned her eighth win of the season in a complete game with eight strikeouts. Offensively, Kelsie Swanson led the team with three RBIs off of a two-run triple and a sacrifice fly. Lyndsay Hill went three-for-three with two doubles and a single, and Lauren Pletscher added a double and a single.

Green Bay struck first, capitalizing off of an Oakland error with two runs in the first inning. Oakland responded with two runs of its own in the second inning. The Vikings took a 3-2 lead in the fourth, but the Golden Grizzlies once again tied the game in the bottom of the sixth.

With two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, Mikayela Marciniak dropped a bloop single on the left field line to score Hill for the winning run.

“We deserved that blooper after all of the line drives we hit,” Miner said. “We hit some shots, but right at people. We just have to be aggressive, defensively and offensively, to be in great shape.”

In the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader, the second game of the series, Haley Zemmer started on the mound, earning a complete-game win in six innings. Zemmer picked up four strikeouts and only allowed two earned runs.

Offensively, Hill recorded four RBIs, Jamie Squires added three runs, Brittney Miller added two runs, and Marciniak picked up one RBI.

The game was tight through the first six innings. However, Oakland added to its 4-3 lead with seven runs in the sixth inning off three hits and a Green Bay error. The Black and Gold topped the Phoenix 11-3.

“We had a great first game,” Miner said. “Whenever we can get the win, it’s a good day. We’ve being doing good things and just have to carry that over.”

In the series finale, game two of the doubleheader, Kownacki made her second series appearance in the circle. She went all seven innings, picking up five strikeouts and giving up just one earned run.

Oakland collected two runs in the first inning on an RBI single from Marciniak and an RBI double from Swanson. Green Bay got on the board in the third inning with one run, then added another in the top of the seventh inning to tie the game 2-2.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Squires hit a walk off double to score Abbey Walewski for the winning run. The Golden Grizzlies swept the series with a final score of 3-2 in the last game.

“We did a lot of great things today,” Miner said. “We had to grind out that second game . . . [Squires] had a walk off [hit] to win it, and she played amazing defense. She made some plays at shortstop that were amazing. We’re looking forward to a break after eight games in nine days.”