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The Lakeland College softball team held off elimination Saturday with victories over Dominican and Concordia Wisconsin before struggling against Benedictine in a 9-1 loss in five innings that ended the season at the 2010 Northern Athletics Conference Softball Tournament in Milwaukee.
The Muskies came back after falling behind against both Dominican and Concordia Wisconsin. Trailing 1-0, Leah Sheahan led off the top of the second with a solo shot down the line to left field to tie the game. The Muskies pieced together three more runs off of a hit and two errors to take a comfortable 4-1 lead.
Lakeland put the game away with a 5-run sixth inning to take a 9-3 lead. The Muskies scored all five with two outs in the inning as Alyssa Nelson doubled to deep center to score Kelly Bolton and move Cassie Felton to third. Blahnik followed in the next at bat with a three run homer to center field to put Lakeland ahead 8-3. Heather Haeflinger scored from second on a Chelsea Coenen single for the Muskies' final run of the game.
Lakeland was in a deeper hole against Concordia Wisconsin as the Falcons scored four in the top of the first inning behind three hits and two errors. Blahnik cut the margin to three with her second home run of the day to lead off the bottom of the first. The Muskies chased Concordia starter Danielle Burke in the third, scoring five runs as the first three batters of the inning reached base on hits. Sara Roberts hit her first home run in the inning as the Lakeland order hit around using five hits, two errors and a walk to lead 6-4.
Roberts hit her second home run of the game to lead off an explosive bottom of the fifth that saw the Muskies score five more runs. Sam Shepeck answered two batters later with a two-run shot to right center. Jenny LaLuzerne and Sheahan each walked later in the inning with the bases loaded to put Lakeland up 11-4. Nelson scored in the sixth as Haeflinger tripled to right for the Muskies' final run of the game.
The Lakeland offense struggled to produce runs in the final game of the day against Benedictine after putting up 21 in the previous two games. Brittany Adcox limited the Muskies to one run on five hits as she improved to 3-0 Lakeland this season, including scoring her second win against Lakeland in as many days.
Benedictine scored runs in four of the five innings played, including three in the third inning and three in the fifth inning as Adcox ended the game with a three run home run to put the Eagles up eight.
Sheahan scored the lone Lakeland run in the top of the fourth after reaching base on an error in the first at-bat of the frame. Erink Henk moved her over to third on a double to left center and she scored on a sac fly from Shepeck to left field.
Benedictine advances and will meet Aurora on Sunday to decide the NAC Softball Tournament champion. Aurora defeated Benedictine 8-3 behind a six run first inning in the fourth game played on Saturday. As a result, the Spartans need just one win on Sunday to claim the 2010 NAC Softball Tournament Championship.