Muskie season comes to an end at NAC tournament
Athletics - posted on 5/2/2009
A furious seventh inning rally for the Lakeland softball team ended one run short as the second-seeded Muskies dropped a 14-13 decision to fourth- seed Dominican in an elimination game Saturday afternoon at the Northern Athletics Conference softball tournament in Milwaukee.
Trailing 11-3 and facing the threat of losing after five innings, Sara Roberts hit her second home run of the tournament to cut the Dominican lead to seven and keep play going.
A scoreless Dominican sixth inning followed, and the Muskies tacked on two more runs from hits by Chelsea Coenen and Christina Moore to narrow the margin to five.
A seventh inning home run by NAC batting average champion Carolyn Rogers to center field proved to be the difference as Dominican entered the bottom of the seventh up six.
Lakeland punished two different Dominican pitchers in the bottom of the seventh as the Muskies started the inning off with five consecutive hits, including two-run home runs from both Kayla VandeWettering and KC Blahnik. Leading by only one, the Stars re-entered starting pitcher Jori Cicale. Cicale retired each of the next two batters on first-pitch ground outs to the left side of the infield. Moore gave the Muskies one last chance to tie with a double to right center before a ground out to third by Roberts ended Lakeland's chances of a NAC tournament championship.
Blahnik, Moore and Sam Shepeck each contributed three hits as the Muskies recorded 18 hits on the day. Blahnik, Moore and VandeWettering each added three runs scored as eight Muskies crossed home plate at least once in the game.
Both teams combined for 11 total home runs. Lakeland's five homers tie for 10th most in one game.
The Muskies end the 2009 season with a record of 30-10, breaking the previous high for wins of 27 set in 2007. Lakeland also set multiple single-season individual records this season. KC Blahnik now holds records for hits (66), batting average (.524), home runs (11), doubles (17), and broker her record for runs set two years ago (63). Chelsea Coenen hit 11 triples this year, shooting past her eight from last season. Sara Roberts broke the all-time strikeout record with 279 in her first three seasons this year and also pitched eight shutouts, five more than her record of three in 2007.
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