Warriors Knocked Out Of NACC Tournament By Rival Falcons

Photo Credit: Donelle Barbian
Photo Credit: Donelle Barbian

MILWAUKEE - The second-seeded Wisconsin Lutheran College softball team used a thrilling sixth-inning rally to move past fourth-seeded Dominican in its first elimination game of the day, but saw a 3-1 lead slip away against fifth-seeded rival Concordia Wisconsin in the final game of the day as it was eliminated from the NACC Tournament Friday at Alverno Field. The Warriors (27-16) defeated the Stars 4-3 before suffering a 7-4 loss to the Falcons.

The Stars (23-17) grabbed the lead in the fourth inning of the first game of the day against WLC starting pitcher Kendra Thomas (Jenison, Mich./Jenison). Sara Hausl and Armani Procter drove in runs and another run came home on a wild pitch to make it 3-0.

WLC was held hitless through five innings by Dominican starter Dominique Schneider before Brittney Blazich (Bristol, Wis./Westosha Central) opened the sixth with a bunt single to break up the no-hitter. Later in the frame, Emily Sievert (Mukwonago, Wis./Mukwonago) knocked an RBI single to center and Alicia Barbian (Waterford, Wis./Waterford) hit an RBI groundout to pull the Warriors to within a run. The next batter, Tara Degl'Innocenti (Lisle, Ill./Naperville North), hammered a two-run homer to left-center to hand the Warriors a 4-3 lead. 

Dominican loaded the bases with just one out in the top of the seventh, but the Warriors threw out the potential tying run at home on a fielder's choice and Thomas retired Allie Evans on a popout to hang on for the victory.

Thomas earned the win after giving up three runs (two earned) on eight hits in 7.0 innings. Degl'Innocenti was 1-for-2 with a run scored and two RBI for the Warriors.

Schneider surrendered four runs on four hits in 6.0 frames for the loss. Kimberley Giannini was 2-for-3 with a run scored.

The Warriors jumped ahead of CUW (22-18) in the second inning of their second elimination game of the day. Degl'Innocenti led off the inning with a single and scored on a passed ball and Kaitlyn Robison (Andalusia, Ill./Rockridge) hit a sacrifice fly to give WLC a 2-0 advantage. 

The Falcons pulled a run back in the third inning on a two-out RBI single by Alyssa Robison. The Warriors got the run right back in the bottom of the third, as Sievert reached on a double and came around to score on an error on the next play to make it 3-1.

CUW tied the game in the fourth on a two-run blast by Melissa Perkins. The Falcons took the lead for good in the fifth, as Mariah Giesseman hit a leadoff homer and Robison scored on a wild pitch to put the Falcons in front 5-3. 

After CUW added another run in the sixth, Dayan Gacgacao (Chicago, Ill./Whitney Young) hit a run-scoring single in the bottom of the inning for the Warriors final run. Nicole Bublitz drove in the Falcons final run with with a single in the seventh.

Thomas (24-11) allowed seven runs (five earned) on 12 hits in the loss. Gacgacao and Sievert posted two hits apiece.

Jamie Schuh (8-7) held the Warriors to an unearned run in four innings of relief for the victory. Marisa Hahn, Liszka, and Robison each pounded out a pair of hits.

Wisconsin Lutheran set a school record for most wins in a season and tied the 2008 squad for most conference victories with 16. The team set school single-season records in runs (289), on-base percentage (.412), slugging percentage (.452), and hits (400), and tied the all-time mark for batting average (.346).