MILWAUKEE - The Wisconsin Lutheran College softball team collected a pair of one-run victories Saturday to earn a sweep over Marian at Neumann Family Fields. WLC came from behind to win the opener, 5-4, before holding on for a 3-2 win in the nightcap.
Trailing 4-3 with two outs and nobody on in the last of the seventh of game one, the Warriors strung together three straight hits, capped off by a two-run single from Emily Sievert (Mukwonago, Wis./Mukwonago) that scored the go-ahead runs and sent WLC to its school-record 20th win of the season with a 5-4 victory. Morgan O'Hanlon (Lowell, Ind./Lowell) and Jinny Curtis (Muskego, Wis./Wisconsin Lutheran) reached on consecutive singles before Sievert's walk-off hit.
The Warriors jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first inning when Brittney Blazich (Bristol, Wis./Westosha Central) scored on a error and Alicia Barbian (Waterford, Wis./Waterford) belted a RBI triple that plated Sievert.
The Sabres knotted the score at 2-2 in the third when they capitalized on three errors and used a pair of singles to even the score. MU continued to take advantage of some shaky Warriors defense in the fourth, scoring two more unearned runs with two outs.
WLC crept within a run in the fourth on a Mindy Schalinske (Burlington, Wis./Shoreland Lutheran) sacrifice bunt that plated Tara Degl'Innocenti (Lisle, Ill./Naperville North) to bring the score to 4-3. The Sabres were held scoreless over the final three frames as they were limited to two hits by Warriors starting pitcher Kendra Thomas (Jenison, Mich./Jenison).
Blazich went 3-for-4 with a run scored and Dayan Gacgacao (Chicago, Ill./Whitney Young) added two hits in three at-bats. Thomas did not allow an earned run in 7.0 innings of work in the circle. She scattered nine hits and fanned four.
Heather Dorn had three hits for Marian. She also pitched 6.2 innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on 10 hits to suffer the loss.
The Warriors scored first again in game two as Degl'Innocenti drew a two-out bases loaded walk that scored Blazich. The Sabres were shutout through 5.0 innings as Thomas scattered just five hits. WLC jumped ahead 2-0 in the fifth behind some smart base running from Blazich, who scored from second on a single to the pitcher by Curtis.
Marian scored its first run of the game in the sixth, capitalizing on a two-out error to plate a runner from third. The Sabres stranded a pair of runners on base in the inning, two of eight left on base for the game.
Wisconsin Lutheran added a key run in the sixth when Gacgacao's two-out single up the middle scored Degl'Innocenti.
The Sabres' first two runners reached safely in the seventh, including a RBI double from Heather Dorn to bring their deficit within a run at 3-2. However, Thomas held strong as she induced three consecutive outs and the Sabres stranded the eventual game-tying run at third.
Blazich and O'Hanlon each had two hits for the Warriors. Blazich also scored twice. Thomas earned her school-record 18th win of the season as she did not allow an earned run over 7.0 innings for the second straight game.
Lydia Cloud was one of three players to record two hits each for the Sabres (11-19, 7-7 NACC), scoring a run in three at-bats. Emily Gorges fell to 5-12 on the season after giving up three runs on eight hits. She struck out five and walked two.
WLC (21-13, 11-5 NACC) travels to league-leading Aurora (20-10, 14-2 NACC) Monday for a 3 p.m. doubleheader. Links to live stats and video will be available for both games at wlcsports.com.