Big Innings Sink Warriors In NACC Tournament Opener

Photo Credit: Donelle Barbian
Photo Credit: Donelle Barbian

MILWAUKEE - The second-seeded Wisconsin Lutheran College softball team allowed four runs in the fifth and five runs in the seventh to third-seeded Benedictine en route to an 11-1 loss in its opening game of the NACC Tournament Thursday at Alverno Field. WLC (26-15) faces an elimination game against fourth-seeded Dominican Friday at 9 a.m. in the double-elimination tournament. 

The Eagles (30-11) tallied an unearned run in the first inning against Warriors starting pitcher Kendra Thomas (Jenison, Mich./Jenison) on Kelly Mieszala's two-out RBI base hit. Kailee Cable clubbed a leadoff homer in the fourth inning to give BenU a 2-0 lead.

BenU broke the game open in the fourth inning, striking for four runs on two hits. Chelsea White knocked an RBI double, Mieszala drove in a run on a fielder's choice, and Sarah Koch capped the frame with a two-run homer to left-center to extend the lead to 6-0.

Eagles starting pitcher Melissa Guzior faced the minimum number of batters through four innings before giving up WLC's lone run of the game in the bottom of the fifth on a solo shot to center field by Emily Sievert (Mukwonago, Wis./Mukwonago). It was Sievert's team-leading seventh blast of the season.

BenU piled on five more runs on six hits in the seventh. Koch and Cable supplied back-to-back RBI hits, Holly Haberkorn smacked a two-run single, and Shannon Fritsche hit a run-scoring single in the frame. 

Guzior (14-6) held WLC to one run on seven hits, struck out four, and walked none for the complete game victory. Mieszala was 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBI, Koch was 2-for-4 with two runs and three RBI, and Cable and Haberkorn recorded two hits and two RBI apiece.

Thomas (23-10) gave up 11 runs (nine earned) in 7.0 innings for the loss. Brittney Blazich (Bristol, Wis./Westosha Central) went 3-for-3 at the plate after being named NACC Position Player of the Year earlier in the day. 

Wisconsin Lutheran will play as the home team when it meets Dominican (23-16) Friday at 9 a.m. Links to live stats and video will be provided on wlcsports.com.