Softball Clinches UMAC Tournament Spot with Sweep
MANKATO, Minn. - The MLC softball team needed two wins to clinch a spot in the UMAC Postseason Tournament, and got them at Bethany Lutheran Monday by the scores of 6-5 (eight innings) and 7-3.
The Knights came back from a five-run deficit in game one to win in extra innings by the score of 6-5.
MLC starter Kathryn Marquardt left the game after allowing five runs (one earned) in 4.1 innings, but Laura Miller came through with a strong effort in relief, pitching 3.2 scoreless innings to give the Knights a chance to win at the end.
Trailing 5-0 in the fifth inning, MLC tied the game with a big inning. Sara Willems and Madeline Scott each had RBI hits in the inning, while Amanda Fogle and Andrea Biedenbender both walked with the bases loaded to drive in runs.
With the game still tied in the bottom of the eighth, Willems hit a two-out double down the left field line to give the Knights a runner in scoring position. With Karlie Kohlmeier pinch-running for Willems, the Knights strung together back-to-back hits by Maggie Schultz and Emily Waldek to score Kohlmeier and earn the one-run win.
Miller picked up the win, improving her record to 9-7 on the season, and setting a new school record for wins in a season by a pitcher.
The Knights used two big innings to take control of game two on the way to a 7-3 win.
BLC scored twice in the first inning and held a 2-0 lead after two innings, but the Knights scored four times in the bottom half of the third to take a lead they would never give back. Fogle, Biedenbender and Amber Krause each had RBI in the inning, while MLC also took advantage of two BLC miscues in the field.
MLC added three more runs in the fourth, with Krause coming through with a two-out, bases loaded double that cleared the bases to give the Knights a 7-2 lead. Krause finished the game 2-4 with four runs batted in.
The five run lead was more than enough for Marquardt, who went the distance and improved her record to 8-6 on the season with the win. She allowed ten hits and three runs (all earned) while striking out one.
With the win, MLC guaranteed itself a top four finish in the final UMAC standings, and a spot in the UMAC Postseason Tournament for the first time since the 2008 season. The Knights finished the regular season with a record of 19-13, and a conference record of 13-8. BLC dropped to 20-16 overall and 13-6 in league play.