- Evening, Weekend & Online Programs
- ALUMNI RELATIONS
- GIVING TO LAKELAND
- ABOUT LAKELAND
After two days of games at their spring break tournament in Tucson, Ariz., the Lakeland College softball team is 1-3 heading into their third day of games on Wednesday, Mar. 14. Although the Muskies dropped their season-opening games by narrow margins to Medaille, 6-5, and Dickinson, 9-8, on Sunday, they were able to score their first win of the season, 7-3, over University of New England in their first game on Monday before dropping the second game of the day to Minot State, 8-0.
"We're doing well," said head coach Chad Buchmann of his team's play in the tournament so far. "We're leading games and playing sound defense at times. We will clean up the errors the rest of the week and work on more consistent pitching."
In the squad's first win of the season over University of New England, freshman pitcher Sara Roberts delivered a solid effort from the mound with six strikeouts and only allowed three hits. Junior shortstop Elisa Waltz helped lift the squad to victory from the plate, going 2-3 for the game with one triple and three runs scored.
"We had awesome pitching and offense," Buchmann said. "It was exciting to steal some bases and get our bunts down. Sara Roberts did a great job of finishing that game in 1:15."
Although Lakeland had to wait until the second day of play to get their first win, the squad was competitive with Medaille and Dickinson during day one of tournament play with the exception of a few errors that cost them games.
Against Medaille, the Muskies were up, 5-0, in the fifth inning, but three fielding errors and two pass balls eventually cost them the win. However, the team was strong at the plate, as every Muskie recorded at least one hit with junior right fielder Rebecca Schuettpelz and junior third baseman Kourtney Peters going 3-4 and 2-4 respectively. Roberts took the loss, with freshman Amber Haese as the reliever.
Against Dickinson, junior Jenny Zimmerman took the loss in a three-hour, hard-fought match-up. The Muskies claimed an 8-4 lead in the sixth inning, but four errors and three wild pitches cost the squad the win in the end. However, Lakeland produced another solid hitting effort as junior center fielder Sonja Barone connected on two of her five trips to the plate with two runs scored, while junior first baseman Allison Lock and Peters each recorded three hits apiece. Freshman KC Blahnik, Zimmerman and Waltz also aided the offensive effort with two hits each. Freshman Cassie Felton was the relieving pitcher in the game.
"The sixth, seventh and eighth innings took an hour and a half alone," Buchmann said of the lengthy game. "We were efficient on offense, but errors were a sore spot on a day that saw us lead both games heading into the sixth before losing control."
Against Minot State in the squad's second game on Monday, the sixth inning once again proved deadly to the Muskies as Minot State tallied six runs for the inning. The squad also struggled to get on base for the first time in the tournament, as their opponent's defense only allowed three hits for the game off the bats of junior right fielder Pam Valukas, Barone and Schuettpelz. Roberts and Haese took the loss for the Muskies from the mound.
"We hit the ball hard, but right at their outfielders standing on the fence," Buchmann said. "KC Blahnik was robbed of a home run that she hit to center field, but (freshman) Sara Mallion played stellar at third.
The Muskies return to action in Tucson tomorrow with two games, first facing off with Knox College at 8:30 a.m. followed by a game with Kenyon College at 10:30 a.m.