LA CROSSE, Wis. -- After scoring 25 runs in the series-opening games on Saturday, the Bruins managed just five runs in Sunday's doubleheader, but the solid pitching efforts of Brieanna Brock and Lauren Jurek helped the Bellevue University softball team sweep Viterbo University, 3-0 and 2-1 Sunday afternoon in North Star Athletic Association action at the Viterbo Outdoor Athletic Complex.
With the sweep, the Bruins improved to 24-12 overall and 7-1 in the NSAA. Viterbo fell to 8-17 on the season and 3-5 in league play. BU has now won five-straight games.
The Bruins will travel to Valley City, N.D. next Saturday-Sunday, April 6-7, for a crucial four-game conference series at ninth-ranked Valley City State University.
Game 1: Bellevue 3, Viterbo 0
Brock tossed a one-hit complete game shutout to lead the Bruins to the 3-0 victory in the opener.
Maricela Egan kept her hot-hitting streak going, finishing 3-for-3 with a double and an RBI. Kaitlyn Kinman drove in two runs on a pair singles. Erin Sharpe also produced a pair of hits in the contest with two doubles. Ashlyn Teran went 2-for-3 and scored a run.
An RBI single to center field by Kinman drove in Sharpe to give the Bruins an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Another run-scoring single by Kinman increased the BU advantage to 2-0 in the top of the third. Egan made it 3-0 later in the third with an RBI double to right field.
Brock improved to 8-2 on the season, allowing just one hit and one walk with 12 strikeouts in seven innings in the circle.
Caitlyn Kozik suffered the loss, falling to 6-5 on the season, scattering 12 hits with no walks and two strikeouts in seven innings of work.
Game 2: Bellevue 2, Viterbo 1
The Bruins scored early and got a crucial insurance run in the top of the seventh en route to the 2-1 victory in the nightcap.
Egan drilled a solo homer to center field to give BU a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning. Neither team scored again until an RBI line-drive double to center field by Ellie Bliemeister pushed the Bruin advantage to 2-0 in the top of the seventh frame.
The V-Hawks responded in the bottom of the seventh, scoring their first run of the day on an RBI double to center field by Sonya McCormick, cutting the lead to 2-1. Brock, who replaced starter Lauren Jurek in the sixth, induced a groundout to preserve the one-run victory.
Jurek earned the victory, improving to 2-0 on the season. She did not allow a run while scattering seven hits and one walk with three strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings of work. Brock picked up her first save of the season, allowing two hits with one walk and one strikeout in the final 1 2/3 innings of the contest.
Caitlyn Almberg (1-1) was tagged with the loss, giving up one run on four hits, with two walks and two strikeouts in four innings of work.