By Chris Lindeke
Assistant Athletic Director, Strategic Communications and Branding
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
Thursday, May 13, 2021
Dunning’s Homer Sends UW-Whitewater Softball to WIAC Championship
The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater softball team punched its ticket to the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship series Thursday with a thrilling 2-1 victory over UW-Stevens Point in a conference tournament semifinal presented by Culver’s at van Steenderen Softball Complex.
Leading off the bottom of the eighth with the score tied at 1-1, shortstop Meghan Dunning hit the first pitch she saw over the center field fence to send the Warhawks to Saturday’s best-of-three final at top-seeded UW-Oshkosh.
Marissa Adams pitched a pair of scoreless innings in relief to earn the win and improve to 5-1 on the year. Rhiann Dick started the game and allowed one run over six innings of work.
The Pointers (23-16) took the lead in the top of the fifth with a solo home run.
UW-Whitewater, which was held hitless until designated player Kennedy Cox led off the fifth inning with a single up the middle, tied the game in the bottom of the sixth. Centerfielder Vera Pflugradt led off the inning with a base hit and was sacrificed to second by Dunning.
With two outs and Pflugradt at second, third baseman Meg Cohrs was intentionally walked, and first baseman Kaleigh O’Brien hit one through the left side to plate the tying run.
After a 1-2-3 top of the seventh from Adams, second baseman Delaney Becker reached on an error to start the bottom half of the frame, but UW-W was unable to put another runner on base, sending the game into extra innings.
Adams didn’t allow a runner in the top of the eighth to set up Dunning’s walk-off homer, her eighth of the year.
Saturday’s best-of-three series begins at 12 p.m. in Oshkosh. If the two teams split Saturday’s games, a third game will be played to decide the title.