MILWAUKEE – Marian University softball (25-12, 17-5 NACC) was defeated by Concordia Chicago by a 9-5 final to open the 2018 NACC Tournament.
The Sabres jumped out early taking a 4-0 lead after three innings of action. In the bottom of the first, sophomore Ally Fox opened the game with a bunt single before junior Lindsey Strainis was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second. Sophomore Gianna Esposito then drove in Fox with a single to put Marian on the board.
Marian extended their lead in the third when Strainis drove a two-run big fly out to center field, her first career home run. Later in the inning, junior Rachel Soch would provide a clutch two-out single to plate freshman Katy Croeker and put the score at 4-0 Sabres.
This lead didn’t last as the next half inning the Cougars plated four runs to tie the game. Marian made sure to retake the lead quickly, however, when Fox came around to score off of an RBI groundout from Strainis.
The Cougars answered in the sixth inning when they managed to plate five runs, four being unearned, to take their first lead of the game. Marian would manage to put traffic on the bases but would not be able to manage to plate any runs leading to the 9-5 final.
Freshman Myranda Schuttenhelm came out of the bullpen to provide 1.1 innings of perfect work. On the offensive end, the top six hitters in the Marian lineup all recorded one hit but Strainis was the lone Sabre with a multi-hit game going 2-for-3 with three runs driven in and one scored. Sophomore Taylor Lauscher reached base three times going 1-for-2 with a pair of walks.
Marian will take on sixth-seeded Wisconsin Lutheran tomorrow, Friday, May 4, at 11 a.m. with the loser being eliminated from the tournament and the winner playing at 1 p.m. against the winner of MSOE and Aurora.