Muskies Split Non-Conference Contest with Carroll
Athletics - posted on 4/25/2007
The Lakeland College softball team split a pair of non-conference games with Carroll College at home on Wednesday, Apr. 25, winning the first, 1-0, and dropping the second, 8-5.
Junior Jenny Zimmerman helped propel the Muskies (25-9) to victory in game one, going the distance on the mound and only allowing three hits.
"JZ pitched awesome and hit her spots in that first game," said head coach Chad Buchmann of Zimmerman.
After the score remained deadlocked at 0-0 for the majority of the game, the Muskies were finally able to break the stalemate in the sixth inning after taking advantage of two Carroll fielding errors and a wild pitch to score junior left fielder Sonja Barone for the solo run of the game.
The second game, however, was another story, as the Pioneers battled with the Muskies inning by inning for a close score throughout the contest.
Carroll wasted no time getting on the board, scoring three runs in the first two innings to go up, 3-2. The Pioneers would add two more runs to the Muskies' one in the fourth inning, but Lakeland would score two more runs at the bottom of the sixth to get back to within striking distance, tallying four of their nine hits for the game in that inning.
Junior Pam Valukas jump-started the offensive drive with a single, followed by freshman KC Blahnik's double that rolled between the gap in the center field fence line. Zimmerman, pinch running for Valukas, would then score on a wild pitch and a single by freshman Chelsea Coenen sent Blahnik across the plate for the second run of the inning.
However, the Muskies were unable to keep the Pioneers from scoring any further, as Carroll scored two more runs and shut out the home squad in the seventh inning to take the game.
Freshman Cassie Felton took the loss on the mound in game two, allowing 12 hits in five innings after coming in to relieve fellow freshman Amber Haese in the third inning.
"Amber Haese did awesome in the second game," Buchmann said. "Her change-up is unbelievable, but that was also where they got us because they stuck their bat out and got a few hits early on. We were in that game most of the time, but they caught us at the end."
Blahnik led the Muskies at the plate in game two, hitting a perfect 3-3 with two runs scored and an RBI. Junior third baseman Kourtney Peters also contributed with two hits on three at-bats, while Coenen tallied a team-high two RBIs on one hit.
"We did our job yesterday," said Buchmann of the Muskies' sweep of top Northern Athletics Conference contender Marian College. "Today everyone got a chance to play and to come out and work on something. We were able to get our bunts down, which helped us win the first game and hang in there in the second game."
The Muskies will return to NAC play with a big doubleheader at home on Saturday, Apr. 28, against undefeated Aurora University.
"Everyone knows from here on out it's Aurora and the conference tournament," Buchmann said. "Every player needs to take some accountability, and today gave us a chance to see what we need to work on. We need to make sure we get a game from Aurora to be the No. 2 seed, since Aurora already has the regular season title sewed up."
Game time is set for 12 p.m. at Lakeland's field.
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