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The Lakeland College softball team had a long day on the road in Northern Athletics Conference action with Concordia University Chicago, splitting its doubleheader with a 10-8 win in the first game followed by a 5-3 loss in game two that stretched to 12 innings on Sunday, April 6, in River Forest, Ill.
Sophomore Sara Roberts picked up the win on the mound in the first game in just over four innings of work, allowing just three hits with five strikeouts. Sophomore Cassie Felton came in to pitch the remainder of the game, giving up five hits. Roberts endured the loss in the second game after coming in to relieve freshman Kayla VandeWettering in the fourth inning, but still recorded six strikeouts.
The Muskies (5-9, 4-2 NAC) had the Cougars under wraps early on in game one with an 8-0 shutout heading into the bottom of the fourth inning on just four hits, including a two RBI homer from senior shortstop Elisa Waltz in the first inning.
Concordia closed the gap to an 8-7 score in Lakeland's favor after tallying multiple hits in the fourth and fifth innings, but the Muskies were able to pad their lead with two more runs in the sixth inning to hang on for the win.
However, Lakeland wasn't so lucky in the second game, finding itself in a 2-2 deadlock with the Cougars to send the game into extra innings. Concordia managed a run on a solo homer at the top of the 11th, but the Muskies were able to answer back as senior Allison Lock tallied an RBI single to send sophomore KC Blahnik home to tie the game once again. Despite the effort, Concordia ripped another home run at the top of the 12th to score two, and the Muskies were unable to answer back a second time to pick up their second NAC loss of the season.
"We jumped on them early in the first game, but letting them back in later on let them see that they could play with us," said Lakeland head coach Chad Buchmann. "Once that happened, they made some outstanding plays in the second game that got them the win. We hit some home runs, stole bases and did the things we wanted to do, but we let them take the advantage. Sara Roberts did a great job of trying to keep us in it, but once they got that two-run homer we didn't have enough energy to come back."
Lock led the Muskies on offense with a 4-for-5 effort at the plate with three RBIs and three runs scored. Waltz was also effective in the first game, batting .500 and scoring two runs.
Lakeland will look to get back on track with another NAC doubleheader on Monday, April 7, as the Muskies face Maranatha Baptist Bible College at home. Game one start time is set for 3 p.m.