Wartburg Softball Team Records Historic Victory [Video]
When it comes to beating a nationally-ranked opponent, the Wartburg softball team has never recorded a bigger upset. The Knights defeated a top five program for the first time in program history Tuesday night (April 19, 2016).
Wartburg opened its Iowa Conference (IIAC) doubleheader against arch-rival Luther with a stunning 12-4, six-inning win over the second-ranked Norse. The victory snapped Wartburg's 12-game losing streak in the series and also ended Luther's school-record 27-game winning streak.
"Confidence is a big deal for us," said first-year Head Coach Jamie Mueller, who has only two upperclassmen on her 31-player roster. "Seeing that they can beat the No. 2 team in the country will give them a lot of confidence and realize how much potential they really have. It's also big for us because, right now, we're working hard and fighting to get into the conference tournament. A win from that program (Luther) is big for us."
Prior to Tuesday, the Norse (30-2 overall, 7-1 IIAC) had surrendered one run or less in their last 11 games. Wartburg (13-21 overall, 3-5 IIAC) pounded out 11 hits while scoring three runs in the second inning, one each in the third and fourth frames, four in the fifth and three in the sixth.
Sophomore Kristie Sommer (Cedar Rapids) led the charge offensively for the Knights, driving in four runs. Her three-run home run in the bottom of the first inning put Wartburg ahead 3-1 and gave the Knights a lead they would not relinquish. Sophomore Mara Forsyth (Charles City) later launched a two-run shot in the sixth inning, putting Wartburg up 11-3.
At the plate, Luther was led by former Waterloo Columbus star Anna Strien, who went 3-for-3 with a home run and a double. She also scored three of the Norse's four runs.
Kimberly Wedeking (Clarksville) pitched a complete game for the Knights, recording her eighth win of the season.
The victory was Wartburg's first over the Norse since April 25, 2009. It also marked the biggest upset in program history, topping a 9-0 win over No. 6 Central on April 17, 2007.
Luther bounced back to win the nightcap, 14-2. The Norse broke a 1-1 tie by scoring five runs in the third, six in the fourth and five in the fifth to take a 14-1 lead. Freshman Hannah Blaske (Bettendorf) led off the fifth inning with a solo home run, before a double play ended the game.
NEXT UP: Wartburg hosts Simpson on Saturday (April 23). The doubleheader begins at 1 p.m. at Lynes Field in Waverly.
Courtesy: Wartburg Athletics via YouTube