Recap: Lakeland athletics over the spring break
Athletics - posted on 3/22/2010
As we enter the home stretch of the 2009-10 academic year, here's a look at what happened in Lakeland athletics over spring break.
The Lakeland baseball team posted a 6-4 record at the Gene Cusic Classic in Ft. Myers, Fla., marking the program's most successful run on a spring break trip since 2002.
After starting the tournament with four straight wins, the Muskies lost a pair before clinching a .500 mark on the trip with an 11-1 victory over Minnesota-Morris in eight innings.
Lakeland ended the break with a 5-1 triumph over Bethel (Minn.) on Saturday after dropping consecutive contests against the Royals the previous day. Senior pitcher Lee Chepil (Ladysmith, Wis.), who finished 2-0 with a 1.12 earned run average during the trip, tossed a complete-game gem, stranding 10 Bethel base runners while striking out five.
Freshman pitcher Andy Chitwood (Muscoda, Wis.) also posted a pair of complete game wins in a seven inning, 9-1 win over Finlandia (Mich.) and against Minnesota-Morris. In total, Lakeland's six starters combined for seven complete games on the trip.
"We already have more complete games this year than we had all of last year," Lakeland coach Chris Thousand said. "Our defense backed up our pitching, as we only had 11 errors on the entire trip. We usually struggle defensively at this tournament, so I give credit to our guys and their overall preparation."
Offensively, the Muskies enjoyed a .317 team batting average and were led in hitting by juniors Brad Young (West Bend, Wis.) at .457 and Cal Post (Appleton, Wis.) at .441. Lakeland averaged six runs per game and outscored opponents 60-42 for the tournament.
"Offensively, we started hot with a .370 batting average through our first seven games," Thousand said. "We cooled off a little in the last three games. We'll just continue to work on our consistency."
Lakeland resumes play with a 2 p.m. doubleheader on Wednesday, March 31, at Lawrence.
For the second consecutive season, the Lakeland softball team returned from the Tuscon Invitational Games in Tuscon, Ariz., with a 5-5 mark.
After winning their first four games, the Muskies lost four straight before splitting a pair on Friday.
"Going from the gym to the field always has uncertainties, so starting out 4-0 was a huge boost," Lakeland coach Chad Buchmann said. "We got really good play from our freshmen, good pitching and decent defense.
"During the losing streak, we were never blown out, but we struggled with our decision making and consistency at the plate."
Offensively, the Muskies were led by senior outfielder Chelsea Coenen (Wrightstown, Wis.), who finished with a .393 batting average along with five doubles and a team-high six triples.
Freshman Erin Henk (Hoopston, Ill.) was impressive, tallying a pair of crucial hits in Lakeland's 5-4 victory over Mayville (N.D.) State. Freshman Jenny LaLuzerne (Sturgeon Bay, Wis.) also finished among offensive leaders and posted the game-ending hit in the Muskies' 8-0 win against Otterbein (Ohio).
"Our hitting was a strong point if you eliminate the three games where we struck out too many times," Buchmann said. "We hit in the .300 range with two home runs, nine triples and over 20 doubles."
The softball team resumes play on Saturday, April 3, at home against Cardinal Stritch in a doubleheader at 1 p.m.
The No. 9 Lakeland men's volleyball team won its third Wisconsin Volleyball Conference Tournament title on March 12-13 in Whitewater, Wis.
In the title match, the Muskies (27-6) knocked off fourth-ranked UW-Oshkosh 25-18, 24-26, 16-14 for the team's second win over the Titans in six head-to-head contests this season. Lakeland recovered from letting a 17-12 second set advantage slip away by rallying from an early deficit to win in the third.
Middle hitter Avdo Omerbegovic (Chicago, Ill.) was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player, while outside hitters Joe Julkowski (Carol Stream, Ill.) and Dane Maier (Middleton, Wis.) joined him on the All-Tournament team.
The Muskies return to action at the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA) Championships on March 27-28 in Oshkosh, Wis. Match times and opponents are TBA.
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