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Freshman Erin Henk picked up her first career win as the Lakeland softball team won the second game of a Northern Athletics Conference doubleheader 5-4 after falling 9-1 in six innings Saturday afternoon in River Forest, Ill.
Henk pitched seven innings in her second start this season, allowing four runs (two earned) despite giving up 12 hits and two walks.
"After she started off hot at the plate in Arizona, we had Erin focus more on her hitting as the season progressed," Lakeland head coach Chad Buchmann said. "We had her shift to work on her pitching the last three days. Taking an early lead in the first inning allowed her to stay calm. She did a good job of getting ground balls and keeping a level head the entire game."
Trailing 4-2 in the top of the sixth, senior KC Blahnik drove in Cassie Felton and Alyssa Nelson with a triple on a line drive to center field. An error by the center fielder allowed her to score from third to give Lakeland a 5-4 lead.
"We weren't doing a good job of manufacturing runs, and I sent KC because we needed the win," Buchmann said. "We weren't in a position to hang around and hope to score later in the game."
The Muskies struggled in the opener as Dominican (14-8, 7-3) scored in four of six innings, including five runs in the bottom of the fifth, in a 9-1 victory. Blahnik recorded the only Lakeland (15-9, 8-2) run of the game in the top of the third, scoring from first on an error in right field.
Senior Sara Roberts took the loss in game one, falling to 11-5 on the season.
"We weren't consistent enough at the plate or on defense," Buchmann said. "Dominican scored a run here and there and eventually they all added up."
Lakeland returns to play in River Forest on Sunday with a noon doubleheader against Concordia Chicago.