OSHKOSH, Wis. — The UW-La Crosse softball team had its best zahitter at the plate with the season on the line Tuesday at the Oshkosh Sports Complex.
In the final regular-season doubleheader in the WIAC, La Crosse freshman Mia Schmidtke — the team’s leader in batting average, RBI and total bases — stepped into the batter’s box needing to extend the comeback rally the Eagles had started in the opening game. But she lined out with runners on first and second, bringing UW-L’s season to an end sooner than many expected.
The Eagles needed a doubleheader sweep at UW-Oshkosh to clinch a spot in the five-team WIAC tournament, but the 4-3 Game 1 loss eliminated them from the playoffs, and a 4-2 loss ended the season.
La Crosse (18-18, 5-9 WIAC) finished seventh in the eight-team conference, and missed the WIAC tournament for the first time since 2012.
Freshman Sabrina Scardamaglia got UW-L on the board in the first inning of the opener with an RBI double down the left-field line, but the Eagles offense went cold after that, tallying three hits between the second and sixth innings.
Eagles starter Caitlyn Hughes got into a jam in the fourth inning, as a single and a hit-by-pitch put the first two batters on and then a sacrifice bunt moved them into scoring position. Claire Petrus hit a two-run double to take the lead and chase Hughes from the game. Senior Katie Klein allowed a single, which scored Petrus for the Titans’ third run.
A two-out single in the sixth got Oshkosh (23-10, 10-4) the deciding run.
La Crosse’s first three batters reached, including an RBI single by Dani Mestelle, and then Central High School graduate Brittany Baldwin had an RBI single through the left side to bring the score to its final.
Allison Oster homered and Haley Radewan had an RBI single in the second game, but a four-run sixth inning that featured two errors and a wild pitch sunk La Crosse.
UW-L 8-4, Stout 5-2
MENOMONIE, Wis. — A four-run eighth inning lifted the Eagles to a win in Game 1, and then solid pitching held down Stout’s rally in Game 2 to help UW-L earn a sweep.
La Crosse doubled in three of the first four at-bats to lead off the eighth inning of the opener, which tied the score at 5. Sophomore Shane Coker and Nate Roethle followed that up with back-to-back RBI singles.
Third baseman Brennan Schmitt went 3-for-5 with two RBI to lead UW-L.
Schmitt and Coker each had two hits in the second game, including an RBI double for Schmitt in the third inning. Brady Stolzman had sacrifice hit in the eighth to give the Eagles (20-9, 10-4) an insurance run.
Arcadia graduate Zach Pronschinske tallied the save in both games, giving him four this season. Stout (8-21, 5-13) managed just three hits, all singles, off the sophomore in three innings of work.