Muskies Finish Third at NAC Tourney
Athletics - posted on 5/5/2007
The Lakeland College softball team finished the inaugural Northern Athletics Conference Tournament in third place after a pair of losses to No. 1 seeded Aurora, 4-3, and No. 5 Edgewood, 6-2, on Saturday, May 5, in Aurora, Ill.
Although the No. 2 Muskies (27-12) kicked off the tournament with a promising win over Concordia, Wis., 4-2, on Friday after earning a first round bye, the squad ran into trouble against a seasoned Aurora team and was unable to find a way to upset the Spartans for the second time this season. Lakeland held a 3-0 lead heading into the fourth inning, but the Spartans would come back to score four runs in that inning to close out the scoring for the remainder of the game, as the Muskies left a total of eight on base in the contest.
"We had that 3-0 lead, but Aurora responded and stuck their bats out there and were able to put a few between the gaps," said head coach Chad Buchmann. "They took advantage of a few miscues we had on defense."
Against Edgewood the Muskies found themselves in a similar bind as the Aurora game, as they led the Eagles, 2-1, heading into the seventh inning, then gave up five runs and were unable to recover in the bottom of the seventh.
"It's the game of softball," Buchmann said. "One minute you're dominating a team, and the next minute you lost the game. We were in control of both of those games, but both Aurora and Edgewood were able to string some hits together and gain the advantage. We had runners on base every single inning, we just couldn't bring them through."
Freshman Sara Roberts took the loss on the mound against Aurora, throwing all seven innings and giving up six hits and tallying two strikeouts. Junior third baseman Kourtney Peters and freshman center fielder Chelsea Coenen both led the Muskies at the plate, batting .500 with two hits apiece, including a triple from Coenen in the first inning. Senior catcher Katie Yeager got the Muskies on the board in the third inning with an RBI single, while the squad went on to score two more runs in that inning thanks to two errors by the Spartan's catcher.
Roberts went the distance in the following game against Edgewood as well, picking up the loss and allowing 10 hits with one strikeout. Junior left fielder Sonja Barone, junior right fielder Rebecca Schuettpelz and freshman second baseman KC Blahnik each tallied two hits on three at-bats, with Blahnik recording an RBI single in the first inning. Junior designated hitter Pam Valukas was also a major contributor, helping to make the score 2-1 with a solo home run in the fifth inning.
Despite the losses, the Muskies have still completed the best season the program has had since 1999, which was the last time Lakeland saw a 20 win season.
"The girls know we played our game and that we didn't give up today," Buchmann said. "They wanted it and came out fighting, but sometimes things just don't go your way. Sara Roberts was a real fighter for us pitching both games in a row and KC Blahnik just had an awesome tournament. We look forward to coming back and doing it all over again next year."
Share This Story Help
Lakeland offers links to several popular social bookmarking services. These links help you share stories with other people or create bookmarks for future reference. The services are free, but they require a personal account. Click for more information on social bookmarking
<< Return to News