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Lady 'Jackets sweep Northland College

The University of Wisconsin-Superior softball team hosted its first games of the season at Liebaert Field Wednesday with a doubleheader against Northland College of Ashland.

UWS Softball
UW-Superior's Chelsey Jarzin (9) reaches first base safely as Northland College's Sam Bona (7) can't grab the ball in the first inning of the second game in Superior on Wednesday. (Jed Carlson/jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)

The University of Wisconsin-Superior softball team hosted its first games of the season at Liebaert Field Wednesday with a doubleheader against Northland College of Ashland.

The Yellowjackets swept both games in five innings by scores of 11-2 and 9-0. Their season record now stands at 16-2-1, but the pair of victories also helped head coach Roger Plachta reach an individual milestone.

Plachta, in his 10th year as head coach of the UWS softball team, now has 200 wins. His coaching record after Wednesday's doubleheader stood at 200-164.

A Superior native, Plachta reached the 200-win milestone with a team comprised mostly of homegrown talent. Of the 19 players on the Yellowjacket roster, nine are graduates of Superior High School and another -- freshman Lindsay Garay -- is a graduate of Northwestern High School.

Former Spartans now playing for UWS are: Britnee Blake, Fr.; Emily Eisenmann, Fr.; Chelsey Jarzin, So.; Kalli Kucharyski, Jr.; Amanda LeBard, So.; Ashley Martin, So.; Ashlee Olson, So.; Janine Seifert, Fr.; and Taylor VanDamme, So.

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Both Kucharyski and VanDamme were honored as Players of the Week by the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference earlier this season. Kucharyski has kept UWS in games as the team's top pitcher, and VanDamme has been on a tear at the plate.

Through the Yellowjackets' non-conference schedule, VanDamme has hit extremely well. She currently has a .468 batting average and a .855 slugging percentage. She leads the team in home runs, with seven, and total hits, with 29.

Kucharyski and VanDamme continued their strong play Wednesday against the Lumberjills. In the opening game of the doubleheader, UWS jumped out to a 9-1 lead after two innings and finished after five innings with an 11-2 win.

Jen Parchem, one of only two seniors on the team, led the Yellowjackets at the plate. She went 3-for-3 with a home run, double, single and two RBIs. VanDamme also had a home run and triple for UWS as she finished going 2-for-3.

Jarzin and Garay had two hits a piece, and Martin, Kucharyski and Alexis Podpeskar each added one hit for the Yellowjackets.

Getting the win on the mound was Kucharyski, who pitched all five innings. She gave up two runs on four hits while walking one and striking out one.

Another former Spartan pitcher earned the win in the second game of the doubleheader. LeBard pitched a complete game and allowed one hit while striking out three batters to give UWS the 9-0 shutout victory.

On offense, Parchem, Martin and Jarzin all went 2-for-2 each, and Kucharyski was 2-for-3. Jarzin also had a stolen base and three RBIs. Garay chipped in with her second home run of the season and Blake and Podpeskar also had a hit apiece for the Yellowjackets.

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UWS opens WIAC play April 8 with a doubleheader in Menomonie against the UW-Stout Blue Devils. The Yellowjackets' first conference home game is a doubleheader April 17 against UW-Whitewater.

UW-Superior 11, Northland College 2

R H E

UW-Superior 450 2X -- 11 12 1

Northland College 100 01 -- 2 4 2

UW-Superior 9, Northland College 0

R H E

UW-Superior 441 0X -- 9 11 0

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Northland College 000 00 -- 0 1 1

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