Marian University softball (11-7, 3-1 NACC) defeated Concordia Chicago 5-0 before suffering a tough 7-6 defeat in the finale of a NACC twin bill from Smith Field.
The Sabres were able to jump out early scoring the first run of the game in the bottom of the second off of an error that brought in sophomore Katy Croeker. Then in the third, Marian was able to add to their lead with freshman Hannah Cozzi bringing in a run and senior Lindsey Strainis scoring after a throwing error to try and pick her off of third base.
Marian scored their first earned runs of the game off of a towering home run to left field from sophomore Peyton Loesch, her first long ball of the season.
The story of the game, however, was junior Paige Rauhut (5-3) who was dominant in the circle tossing a shutout only allowing four hits with seven punch outs. Offensively, Loesch and Rodriguez each had multi-hit games, while the top four Sabres in the lineup each scored a run.
The victory was the 100th win for head coach Tony Draves making him only the second head coach in program history to reach triple-digit wins.
The Sabres got off to an even better start in game two scoring five runs in the bottom of the first. Loesch opened the scoring with a double that brought in a run with junior Taylor Lauscher following with an RBI single herself. Then Croeker hit a long fly ball that barely crossed the left-center field fence for a three-run homer, her first home run of the season.
The Cougars responded with their first run of the day in the top of the second and then scored three times to cut their deficit to one in the third. Marian had an answer in the bottom of the fifth when Cozzi was able to single in junior Ally Fox with a single to put the score at 6-4.
Concordia Chicago then took the lead in the top of the seventh with a three-run inning, capped off by a two-out two-RBI double to close out the inning. The Sabres rallied in the seventh inning after two quick outs to put the tying run at second base but couldn’t find the clutch hit.
Croeker and Fox each had three-hit games to lead the offense with Fox scoring multiple times. The top six hitters in the Marian lineup would go 13-for-24 (.542) in the defeat.
Marian hits the road to play at MSOE Saturday, April 6 for a noon NACC doubleheader.