Sabre softball splits at Lakeland behind P. Rauhut shutout

Marian huddles after an inning.

PLYMOUTH, Wis. - Marian University softball (21-9, 13-3 NACC) defeated Lakeland 8-0 in five innings in game one of a twin bill but dropped the finale 9-7.

The Sabres would plate three runs in the first inning and five runs in the third to clinch the mercy-rule victory in the opener.  Freshman Peyton Loesch had an RBI single in the first followed by sophomore Taylor Lauscher who drove in a pair of runs with a double in the first inning.  Freshman Katy Croeker opened the scoring in the third with a double that plated a run before Lauscher drove in another pair with a single.  Freshman Alexa Rodriguez then closed out the Marian scoring with her third home run of the season, a two-run shot.

The big headline in the victory was sophomore Paige Rauhut (12-3) who returned to her usual dominance holding Lakeland to a two-hit shutout.  Rauhut would strike out two hitters and only needed to face 19 batters.

Croeker led the Sabres going 3-3 with two runs scored and a run driven in, while Lauscher closed out the game 2-3 with four runs driven in and a run scored.

Lakeland jumped out early on the Sabres scoring five runs in the first two innings.  Croeker and Lauscher started the Sabre rally with a double and a single, respectively to cut the deficit to 5-2.  The Muskies answered, however, plating three runs to extend their lead out to 8-2.  

Marian wouldn't go away easily, however, as the Sabres plated four more runs in the top of the fifth. Sophomore Gianna Esposito opened the rally with a single that plated fellow sophomore Haley Polakowski before a fielder's choice brought in sophomore Lindsey Strainis.  Lauscher then continued her big day with another single that drove in a run before a wild pitch plated Loesch and brought the score to 8-6.

The Muskies tacked on to their lead a half inning later and the Sabres would only manage an RBI single from Polakowski in the seventh, stranding the game-tying run on first base.

Five different Sabres had multi-hit games with Loesch and Esposito each recording three hits.  Lauscher also had a three-hit game with two driven in.

Marian returns home tomorrow, Friday, April 27, hosting Benedictine for a 3 p.m. NACC twin bill.

--FightBlueFight--