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MILWAUKEE, Wis. - The Lakeland College softball team suffered its first loss to Marian University since 2008 in a 7-1 setback in game one of the 2012 Northern Athletics Conference Tournament at Alverno Field.
The Muskies drop to 19-18 on the season and play tomorrow at 1 p.m. in a must-win-to advance game. Lakeland will play the loser of game four and could see No. 2 Aurora University, No. 3 Concordia University Wisconsin or No. 6 Dominican University. All updates are available on Lakeland's athletics website as well as the NAC's website.
The Muskies came out a bit slow and lethargic in the anticipated matchup. Two uncharacteristic errors cost the team two runs in the first inning and proved to be a hole they couldn't overcome as the Muskies' hitting struggles continued.
Marian's Emilie Jansen hit two home runs, including a three run homer in the second inning, to help the Sabres extend their lead to 6-0 in the bottom of the fifth. The Sabres made it 7-0 when a single drove in another run.
Senior Leah Sheahan gave Lakeland life when she hit a solo home run in the sixth, but it was too little and too late for Lakeland.
Head coach Chad Buchmann was disappointed with the outcome, but is eager to get back in it tomorrow.
"We made two poor errors in the first inning and got into a little bit of a slump," said Buchmann. "We got on base and generated some nice hits, but we needed more today and it wasn't there. Tomorrow we hope to improve."
Freshman Kaitlyn Hoffmann went 2-for-4, while Sheahan ended the game 1-for-2 with an RBI and one run.
The ninth time was the charm for Marian's ace pitcher, Cherise Waltz as the senior recorded five strikeouts. She gave up eight hits with one earned run. The Sabres will look to take down top-seeded Benedictine at 9 a.m. tomorrow.
Junior Erin Henk pitched four innings and recorded two strikeouts, but gave up six runs on five hits.
Lakeland hopes to snap a five-game skid tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m.