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In a season of firsts, the UW-Stout gymnastics team accomplished a few more firsts as they placed a best-ever second at the 2019 NCGA Championship at UW-Oshkosh Saturday.

Two weeks after winning their first-ever conference title with a school record score, the Blue Devils jumped past that school record with a new mark of 190.275. Stout’s previous best finish at the national meet came in 1984, the first year of the meet when the program finished fourth.

Shadae Boone earned a national title on the vault. The sophomore, who was the final performer of the night on the vault, broke the previous school record with a mark of 9.825, winning the event by more than a tenth of a point. The second place finishers scored a 9.750. Boone is the second Blue Devil to win a national vault title. Naomi DeLara won the event in 2011.

As a team, each of the six Blue Devils on the vault hit their routines and Stout established a new school record on the event, their final event of the evening, with a 48.025.

Sierra Beaver won a pair of All-America awards, finishing second on the uneven bars with a 9.650. Beaver also won All-America honors by finishing sixth on the balance beam with a personal-best score of 9.675. Britney Wolfe finished fourth (9.725) on the beam to earn All-America honors. Wolfe also matched a personal-best on the vault (9.500)

Mikala Bugge completed her first complete year as an all-arounder and finished with a second place finish, scoring a 38.050. Bugge was seventh on the vault (9.675) and eighth on the beam (9.650). Brooke Terry was eighth on the all-around (36.400). The top eight finishers on each event earned All-America honors.

Not everything for Stout went according to plan Saturday night, but the Blue Devils turned adversity into more success.

The floor exercise didn’t go the way Stout would have wanted it to, said assistant coach Seth Helland.

“After our floor didn’t go well, Cassie Ehman told us that the only event we hadn’t set a new record for this season was the vault,” Helland said.

The vault was the team’s final event and each of the Stout gymnasts hit their routines to set a school record, Helland said, topped off by Boone’s record setting performance.

“Cassie told Shadae to do her vault for the team,” Helland said. “Shadae’s natural talent just took over and at that point it was just meant to be.”

“I am so proud of this group of young ladies,” said Blue Devil head coach Becky Beaulieu. “This is such a special group.”

UW-Stout baseball 3-11, MacMurray College 4-4

UW-Stout unleashed a 16-hit offensive onslaught in the second game to earn a split at MacMurray College, Saturday, losing the first game, 4-3, but coming back with an 11-4 win in the nightcap of the nine inning doubleheader.

The Blue Devils (3-1) second, third and fourth batters led the offensive parade, combining for nine of the Blue Devils’ 16 hits.

Jordan Wilson went 3 for 5, Hunter Merrill was 4 for 6 with three RBI and Kasey Bass was 2 of 5 with two RBI. Eight of Stout’s starters had at least one hit. Caleb Hurt, batting in the sixth spot, was 2 for 5.

UW-Stout softball falls to MIT, Wellesley

UW-Stout held leads in both games, but late inning runs by their opponents spelled two defeats for the Blue Devils on their second day of the PFX Athletics Spring Games Saturday. The Blue Devils lost 3-2 to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and 4-1 to Wellesley College.

Against fifth-ranked MIT, the Blue Devils scored single runs in the third and fourths innings to jump out a 2-0 lead. Mary Iliopoulos popped out a one-out infield single in the third inning, then moved on Jessica Christiansen’s sacrifice bunt. Kyncaide Diedrich’s single up the middle plated Iliopoulos and Stout led 1-0. The Blue Devils doubled their lead in the fourth inning when Jessica Daley’s triple down the right field line brought home pinch runner Kate Horn.

Against Wellesley (3-1), the Blue Devils opened the game with a run in the top of the first. Korin Hall reached on a lead-off infield single, advanced to second on Mary Iliopoulos’s misplayed fielders choice, advanced to third on a wild pitch, then scored on Meghan Kelly’s sacrifice fly.

Sunday

UW-Stout baseball 5-10, Blackburn College 4-4

UW-Stout came back to win game one with two outs in the top of the seventh for a 5-4 win, then carried that momentum forward to sweep Blackburn College, 10-4, Sunday.

Trailing 4-3 with two outs and the bases empty, Stout’s Jordan Wilson found a way to get on, hitting the ball to third base and advancing to second on the overthrow to ignite a rally. With two strikes against him, Hunter Merrill plated Wilson with a single, then came home when Kasey Bass reached on an error for the eventual game-winning run.

Sophomore transfer Aaron Plotsky, making his first appearance as a Blue Devil, picked up the complete game win, but had to work himself out of a bit of a jam in the bottom of the seventh.

The Blue Devils (5-1) kept the offensive pressure on in the second game, but got some help as Blackburn (2-14) committed six errors.

UW-Stout softball wins twice

UW-Stout got their bats moving in a big way, earning two wins at the PFX Athletics Spring Games Sunday. The Blue Devil came from behind to defeat Tufts University, 12-10, in eight innings to open the day, then needed only five innings to defeat Minnesota-Morris, 11-3.

Tufts (13-2), one of the premier softball programs that won Division III titles in 2013, 2014 and 2015, jumped all over Stout (6-3) in the opening five innings to take a 7-0 lead before the Blue devils tallied three runs in the sixth and five runs in the seventh to send the game into extra innings.

Mary Iliopoulos drove in two runs in the seventh inning to help forge the tied score, then drove in two runs in the eighth inning.

Stout built up a 6-0 lead over Morris (9-9) through four innings, then allowed the Cougars back into the game with three runs in the fifth.

Friday

UW-Stout softball starts trip 1-1

UW-Stout opened their annual spring break trip to Florida with a 3-0 shutout over SUNY-Geneseo, but suffered their first loss of the season with a 5-1 decision to 18th-ranked Calvin College at Legends Way Park.

In game one, Melea Bruns tossed a four-hit shutout and Meghan Kelly drove in what would prove to be the game-winning runs as the Blue Devils (4-1) opened the week with a 3-0 win over SUNY-Geneseo (8-4). Geneseo received six votes in the latest NFCA Division III poll, while the Blue Devils received four.

Stout wasted little time getting on board, scoring their first two runs in the top of the first inning. Jessica Christiansen was hit by a pitch to lead off the game, then was moved to second on Jessica Daley’s sacrifice bunt. Kyncaide Diedrich, in her first at-bat of the season, drew a walk. Kelly drove both Christiansen and Diedrich home on her third double of the season.

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