UW-Whitewater softball hosts Division III regional

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Gazette staff
Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The UW-Whitewater softball team begins NCAA Division III tournament play today against Hope (Michigan).

The Warhawks, ranked No. 9 in the country, is the host of a four-team, double-elimination regional. The Whitewater-Hope game is set to start at 3:30 p.m.

The winner of the Whitewater-Hope game plays the winner of the Trine (Ind.) vs. Greenville (Ill.) game, which starts at 1 p.m. today.

The Warhawks rolled through the WIAC season with an undefeated record and are 36-7 overall. They enter the tournament with a 13-game winning streak, including three over the weekend to win the WIAC Tournament for the fifth straight season and ninth time overall.

Coach Brenda Volk's squad is making its 20th appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

All-WIAC honors

UW-Whitewater cleaned up on the softball field in WIAC play, so it was no surprised the Warhawks dominated in the conference postseason honors.

UW-Whitewater's Haley Morelli and Bella Matthias were chosen the Position Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year, respectively, to lead the individuals selected to the 2017 All-WIAC team selected by the league coaches.

Warhawk head coach Brenda Volk was tabbed the Coach of the Year.

Morelli is the fifth player in program history to receive the honor, joining Erin Bravo (2004), Amy Gahl (2007), Emily Epifanio (2012) and Morgan Krisch (2014).

She tops the conference with 12 home runs, 48 runs batted in and a .798 slugging percentage, while ranking second with a .457 batting average, .523 on-base percentage, 59 hits and 103 total bases. Morelli recorded at least one hit in 34 of 43 games, including 22 multi-hit performances and a season-high four hits against Hendrix College (Ark.) on March 23.

Matthias is the third individual in Warhawk archives to claim the league award, joining Jessica Stang (2008 and 2009) and Katie Boyle (2013). She leads the WIAC with 17 victories and 125 strikeouts, while ranking second with a 1.13 earned run average, 129.2 innings pitched and .195 opponent batting average. Matthias fired a no-hitter in her collegiate debut against Roger Williams University (R.I.) on March 17 and added another hitless game against UW-Stout on April 29. She had at least six strikeouts in 10 contests, including a season-best 12 against Roger Williams.

Whitewater's Amy Ricci and Mallory Klotz also were repeat All-WIAC honorees. Ricci is the Warhawks' senior first baseman, and Klotz is a junior outfielder.

Volk secured the coaching honor for the sixth time in her career and second time in three seasons. She led the Warhawks to the 11th regular-season championship and ninth tournament title in program history. UW-Whitewater has won 21 straight games against WIAC opponents dating back to last season and owns a 13-game winning streak entering the NCAA Division III championship.

An All-Sportsmanship Team was chosen for individuals that displayed exemplary sportsmanship throughout the season. It included one member from each school.

Last updated: 10:33 pm Wednesday, May 10, 2017

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