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The Lakeland College softball team improved to 7-5 overall with a pair of non-conference victories over Milwaukee School of Engineering on Monday, Mar. 26, in five innings each.
Freshman Sara Roberts picked up the win in the first game, 20-2, allowing only one hit, while junior Jenny Zimmerman pitched three innings in relief. In game two, freshman Amber Haese tallied a 9-1 win in three innings on the mound, allowing three hits. Freshman Cassie Felton pitched one inning in relief.
The Muskies gave the Raiders no hope from the get-go, starting out game one strong with seven runs in the first inning alone, thanks in part to two stolen bases, and holding the home team scoreless until the third inning. The squad sealed the deal in the fourth inning with a final six-run spurt off of two hits to reach 20 runs.
Junior centerfielder Sonja Barone led the team at the plate with three hits out of five at-bats and four RBI's. Senior catcher Katie Yeager led the team in runs with three, while junior shortstop Elisa Waltz, junior first baseman Allison Locke and sophomore leftfielder Christina Schultz all tallied three RBI's and two hits apiece. The Muskies finished the game with 16 hits.
"Everyone got in during the first game," said head coach Chad Buchmann. "That was nice for the girls because in conference games, normally that won't happen because you have to go with what is working."
Although Lakeland got a slightly slower start in the second game, finding itself down, 1-0, until the fourth inning. At that point, the Muskies ripped off six straight runs on five hits, one of which being a triple off the bat of freshman second baseman KC Blahnik, and four stolen bases.
The squad then sealed the deal in the fifth inning with three more runs on singles by Yeager, junior right fielder Pam Valukas, and Waltz. Waltz also tallied two RBI's and two of the Muskies' nine hits for the game while Blahnik added a team-high two runs.
"In the second game we didn't open things up as much," Buchmann said. "We hit the ball hard, but the pitching was erratic so it was hard to get in the flow of the game. But, we did a really good job of being patient at bat. All of our pitchers did awesome. KC Blahnik did really well, Kourtney Peters hit the ball hard and Allison Lock hit two balls down the left field line that were just foul for home runs."
The Muskies will now kick off their Northern Athletics Conference schedule with a home double-header against Concordia, Wis., on Tuesday, Mar. 27.
"The pitching speed will be much faster, so hopefully the girls will be able to adjust and their hands will be a little bit faster," Buchmann said. "The question will be how we respond to the different styles and speeds of pitching and if we can pick up our game."
Game time is set for 3 p.m.