MARQUETTE, Mich. - Marian University softball (4-0, 0-0 NACC) went undefeated at the Finlandia Dome Classic for the first time since 2007 with wins over Finlandia, UW-Superior, St. Scholastica, and Northland, respectively.
Marian vs. Finlandia - 9-0 Win (5 Innings)
The Sabres opened the tournament with a convincing 9-0 defeat over Finlandia in five innings behind a strong final three innings and one-hitter from junior Paige Rauhut. Marian would put up three runs in the third, five runs in the fourth, and a single run in the fifth totaling 12 hits in the victory. Junior Ally Fox paced the Sabres in the win going 3-4 at the plate, while sophomore Peyton Loesch went 2-3 with three driven in and two runs scored. Fellow sophomore Katy Croeker also had a pair of runs batted in going 2-3. Rauhut (1-0) finished the game striking out five facing only 18 hitters, three over the minimum.
Marian vs. UW-Superior - 9-7 Win
The Marian offense continued to dominate the first day of action scoring in five of the seven innings against UW-Superior with 19 hits to earn a 9-7 win. All nine starters managed to record a hit in the victory with seven multi-hit games. Freshman Hannah Cozzi opened the scoring for the game in the second with a single that drove in Croeker. A couple innings later, Croeker drove in Loesch with a triple before Cozzi drove in Croeker for a second time with a single to put Marian up 3-1 after three and a half.
The Yellow Jackets rallied in the bottom half of the fourth for three runs to take their first lead of the game at 4-3. Loesch made sure the lead didn't last long as the next half inning she was able to drive in senior Lindsey Strainis to put the game back at a 4-4 tie. The next inning the Sabres were able to take the lead for good off of an RBI single from Fox that scored sophomore Alexa Rodriguez.
The Sabres tacked on to their lead in the seventh with Rodriguez tripling while the bases were loaded and senior Rachel Soch following with an RBI single to center field. UW-Superior made things interesting in the bottom of the seventh plating three runs but Marian was able to hold off the rally.
Soch, Loesch, and Cozzi each had three-hit games in the victory, while Rodriguez and Cozzi each had multiple runs driven in. In the circle, sophomore Myranda Schuttenhelm (1-0) tossed a complete game allowing just four earned runs with one punch out.
Marian vs. St. Scholastica - 8-7 Win
The Sabres opened day two of the tournament facing their toughest challenge against St. Scholastica. Marian was able to take the early lead behind an RBI triple from Strainis in the third and run-producing ground out from junior Taylor Lauscher in the third. The Saints answered with three unanswered runs to take the lead but in the sixth Marian would tie the game thanks to a St. Scholastica miscue.
St. Scholastica didn't let the tie last long, however, as the bottom of the sixth saw an RBI double put the Saints ahead 5-3 heading into the final inning. The Sabres battled in the seventh and managed to tie the game behind a sacrifice fly from Lauscher and a ground rule double from Loesch. A single from Croeker followed to give Marian a 6-5 lead before Soch provided a clutch two-out single to right field to plate a pair and extend the lead to 8-5. The Saints similarly battled back to plate a pair and put the tying run on base but a ground out to Loesch clinched the Marian win.
The Sabres had six student-athletes produce multi-hit games led by Fox once again who went 2-2 with a pair of free passes and two runs scored. Loesch (1-0) earned the win in relief only allowing one hit over one inning, while Schuttenhelm earned the save tossing an inning of one-hit ball.
Northland vs. Marian - 9-1 (6 Innings)
Marian ended the tournament on a high note with another convincing win defeating Northland in six innings. Fox once again had a big game on the offensive end going 3-3 with three runs scored and a run driven in. Rodriguez also had a strong final game going 3-4 with three runs scored. The Sabre offense finished with six runs batted in with six different student-athletes recording a run driven in.
Schuttenhelm (2-0) tossed her second complete game allowing just one earned run scattering seven hits with seven strikeouts.
For the tournament, Marian had seven student-athletes qualify with a batting average of .400 or better led by Fox who hit .714 (10-14) with six runs scored and three stolen bases. Loesch and Cozzi each finished with a .500 batting average with Loesch also recording a team-high six runs driven in to go with five doubles and a .857 slugging percentage. Strainis also finished with a .857 slugging percentage for the tournament with three doubles and two triples, while Rodriguez also had a pair of triples.
In the circle, Schuttenhelm led the way with 14.0 innings pitched with two complete games, two wins, and a save. She would finish with a 2.50 earned run average allowing five earned runs with eight strikeouts. Rauhut went on to throw 10.0 innings striking out 12 for an 8.4 strikeouts per seven innings average.
Marian opens The Spring Games from Clermont, Fla. Saturday, March 16 taking on Amherst at 1 p.m. (CST) and Mount St. Mary (N.Y.) at 3:30 p.m. (CST).