Seventh Inning Hits Propel Softball Past WLC
Athletics - posted on 5/1/2008
The fifth-seeded Lakeland College softball team surpassed the opening round of the Northern Athletics Conference Tournament in exciting fashion, scoring four runs in the seventh inning to overcome a 2-1 deficit to defeat No. 4 Wisconsin Lutheran, 5-3, on Thursday, May 1, in Aurora, Ill.
The Muskies (17-18 overall) trailed throughout the entire game until freshman left fielder Sam Shepeck and sophomore second baseman KC Blahnik got the squad's seventh inning offensive run started with a pair of singles. Sophomore center fielder Chelsea Coenen also reached on a walk, prompting an RBI single by senior short stop Elisa Waltz to drive in Shepeck. Senior third baseman Kourtney Peters then knocked in two more runs with a single down the left field line while freshman right fielder Kayla VandeWettering forced an error to help the Muskies record the fourth and final run.
"Our backs were against the wall heading into the seventh inning," said Lakeland head coach Chad Buchmann. "It was good to see that we were able to respond to that sense of urgency. We had timelier hitting, and Elisa and Kourtney really stepped up with those base hits."
Blahnik led the team at the plate with three of the Muskies' seven hits for the game on four at-bats. Sophomore Sara Roberts picked up the win in the circle, pitching all seven innings and giving up 10 hits with five strikeouts.
The victory also helped Lakeland break out of a five-game losing streak heading into the tournament. The Muskies will look to continue that new-found confidence into tomorrow's game with No. 1 Aurora University, who has lost just one game in NAC play this season to No. 2 Benedictine University.
"I feel like we're rolling now," Buchmann said of facing Aurora. "I think we're ready to step up, get aggressive at the plate and get some hits tomorrow."
Game time with Aurora is set for 9 a.m. at Jericho Park in Aurora, Ill.
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