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AURORA, Ill.- The Lakeland College softball team split its Northern Athletics Conference doubleheader against Aurora University for the first time since April 29, 2007, Saturday afternoon at Stuart Sportsplex.
The Muskies (8-20, 8-6) took game one, 5-4 and handed the second-place Spartans their second loss in the NAC. Aurora reclaimed game two as they won 6-5.
Lakeland took an early 4-0 lead in the first inning of game one as Aurora's defensive struggled to make a play. The Muskies scored two runs on hits by pitch, but the Spartans bat's wouldn't go quiet as they scored two runs in the first and another two in the third inning to tie the game at four.
Freshman Brittni Peterson (Elmwood, Wis.) had the go ahead run in the fifth inning on sophomore Heather Haeflinger's (Shawano, Wis.) double into right field. The Muskies posted a solid defense in the remaining innings to secure its first win over Aurora in three years.
On the pitching mound, freshman Marissa Roovers (Appleton, Wis.) earned her third win and only gave up three hits in four innings pitched.
Haeflinger led the Muskies with two RBIs and two hits, while sophomore Erin Henk (Hoopeston, Ill.) went 2-for-3 at the plate, scoring one run and posting an RBI.
Head coach Chad Buchmann was ecstatic with the team's play and growth.
"We took it to them (Aurora) today," said Buchmann. "It was an awesome effort both offensively and defensively. Our pitching was great and I am impressed with how much the girls grew today. The games were exactly what competitive games should look like."
Game two started just as well for Lakeland, scoring four runs in the second inning, but the Spartans rallied back in consecutive innings to claim a piece of the doubleheader. Lakeland enjoyed a 5-3 lead heading into the bottom of the fourth, but gave up two runs to tie the game at five. Shannon Starr scored Aurora's game winning run on an error by Lakeland in the bottom of the fifth inning.
"It was great to come away with one win," said Buchmann. "We gain a lot of momentum heading into next week, which determines our bid to the NAC Tournament."
Sophomore Megan Olson (Stoughton, Wis.) led Lakeland at the plate going 2-for-3 and scoring one run.
Lakeland returns to NAC action on Monday, April 25, as they travel to Lisle, Ill., to take on the undefeated Benedictine Eagles. First pitch is slated for noon.