Softball Drops Pair to Benedictine
Athletics - posted on 4/21/2007
The Lakeland College softball team picked up its first doubleheader loss in Northern Athletics Conference action this season, breaking an eight-game winning streak, as the squad dropped its doubleheader to Benedictine University, 3-1, 12-3, on Saturday, Apr. 21, at Lakeland.
After a strong offensive effort yesterday in a pair of wins over Alverno, the Muskies (22-8, 15-3 NAC) had a difficult time replicating that success. The squad was able to generate only seven hits for the day, and 11 batters struck out in the first game alone.
Unfortunately, Lakeland's woes also extended past the batter's box and into the field as the squad committed three errors and had several other plays turn against them.
"We made some base-running errors, we didn't get our bunts down and there were some close plays we didn't get that we normally do," said head coach Chad Buchmann. "We also bobbled a couple of outfield balls that we should have had. We also need to be able to adjust to the way the strike zone is being called much sooner in a given game."
Despite the errors, the score was a close 1-0 for most of the first game until Benedictine increased its advantage with two more runs in the seventh inning. Although the Muskies answered back with one run at the bottom of the seventh, as senior catcher Katie Yeager hit a single to send junior left fielder Sonja Barone across the plate, they were unable to close the gap any further.
Freshman Sara Roberts took the loss on the mound for the Muskies, pitching all seven innings and tallying six strikeouts while giving up eight hits and one walk.
In the second game, the home squad was still unable to find its offense with only four hits. However, the Eagles did not have that problem, tallying 14 hits for the game and jumping out to a 4-0 lead in the third inning, then added seven more runs in the fourth inning to make it a 10-0 ball game.
The Muskies were finally able to attempt a comeback at the top of the fifth inning, as junior pinch hitter Pam Valukas and sophomore designated hitter Christina Schultz got things started with a pair of singles. After freshman KC Blahnik reached on a walk, junior shortstop Elisa Waltz cracked a three-RBI triple to finally get the squad on the board. However, the Muskies were unable to make the scoring run last as the Eagles scored one final run at the bottom of the fifth to seal the game.
"We put together a little rally at the end of the second game, which shows that we were still fighting for it and not giving up," Buchmann said. "But, we showed up expecting to win instead of trying to win. Instead of taking it to them and proving it, we showed up thinking our bats were going to be successful the way they were yesterday."
Freshman Cassie Felton took the loss in the second game, throwing three innings and giving up eight hits before being relieved by junior Jenny Zimmerman.
The Muskies will have a chance to rebound from the losses on Tuesday, Apr. 24, as they face off against Marian in another NAC doubleheader.
"The season's not over," Buchmann said. "We still have to make sure we make the NAC tournament. We have to re-group and hopefully we'll be able to respond and get some energy and urgency back into our game."
Game time with Marian is set for 3 p.m. in Fond du Lac, Wis.
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