Muskies sweep Dominican, win seventh in a row
Athletics - posted on 4/4/2009
The Lakeland College softball team held off Dominican on a chilly Saturday afternoon behind a pair of solid pitching efforts, knocking off the Stars 3-1 before holding onto a 5-4 victory at Riverside Park in Howards Grove. The Muskies, winners of their last seven, have not lost since dropping a 9-3 decision to Wesleyan at the Tucson Invitational Games.
Sara Roberts (Escanaba, Mich.) threw seven innings of one run ball, giving up only an unearned run and five hits as just five Dominican batters reached base.
Lakeland (9-5, 4-0) put up a single run in each of the first three innings. KC Blahnik led off the Muskie first inning with a walk and reached second on an error later in the inning. A dropped third strike allowed her to move to third, and she reached home on a wild pitch to score the first run of the game.
Roberts opened the Lakeland second with a single down the left field line. Moving to second on a sacrifice bunt, Kayla VandeWettering (Appleton) drove her in on a single to center. The Muskies eventually placed runners on second and third, but ended the inning with two straight strikeouts.
Sam Shepeck (Gladstone, Mich.) scored the last Muskie run in the third inning, leading off with a walk. Advancing on a ground out and single, she also reached home on a wild pitch.
Dominican recorded its lone run in the top of the fifth on a pair of errors. Shelley Kurcz hit a ball to center that was misjudged by Chelsea Coenen (Wrightstown), and eventually scored on a dropped catch at first.
VandeWettering was the only Muskie to record multiple hits, going 2-3.
Lakeland once again scored the first run of the game, this time on a KC Blahnik lead-off home run to dead center.
The Muskie offense exploded in the third to score four runs, the only inning the Muskies could score multiple runs in all day. Coenen drove in Blahnik with a double and advanced to third on the throw, but was thrown out at home on a squeeze attempt from Shepeck in the next at bat. Later in the inning, Cassie Felton (Green Bay) drove in a pair of runs with a triple and scored on a single in the next at bat as Lakeland claimed a 5-1 lead.
Dominican fought back to score a single run in each of the next three innings. Roberts, who relieved Felton in the top of the fourth, gave up three hits and a run in the fifth. Felton re-entered with two outs, and a ground out to short ended any potential Dominican rally as the Stars left two runners stranded.
"I thought both of our pitchers pitched well today," Lakeland head coach Chad Buchmann said. "Cassie was throwing a great change-up that kept their hitters off balance.
"Kelly Bolton (Burlington) made every play today at shortstop, routine our tough. We're very pleased with the production we are getting out of our younger players. For not being able to get in a groove and playing away from our home field, we're doing very well."
The Muskies will look to extend their winning streak against St. Norbert on Monday, April 6. Sunday's scheduled contests with Concordia Chicago have been postponed due to expected wintry conditions in the Sheboygan area.
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