Laufer's Heroics Lift St. Norbert to Sweep of Ripon

From Sports Information Director, April 8, 2014 | Softball
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

RIPON - St. Norbert College sophomore Emily Laufer had two key hits in Game 1 of a doubleheader to lead the Green Knights to a Midwest Conference sweep of Ripon College. The Green Knights won the opener 4-1 in 11 innings before winning the nightcap 8-3 at Tracy Field.

St. Norbert (7-10, 2-0 MWC North) trailed 1-0 going to the seventh inning. MacKenzie Hazen led off the inning with a triple, and Laufer followed with a double to knot the game at 1-1.

Neither team scored again until Laufer's two-run home run with two outs in the top of the 11th inning gave St. Norbert a 3-1 lead. Tayler Long came around to score on an error two hitters later.

Morgan Rusch twirled all 11 innings to get the win for the Green Knights. Rusch scattered 11 hits, did not allow an earned run, walked one and struck out five.

Codi Jenshak was 3-for-5 for the Green Knights, who had 13 hits. Hazen, Laufer, Long and Abby Gildernick all had two hits apiece.

In the nightcap, St. Norbert scored in five of seven innings to slowly pull away from the Red Hawks. The Green Knights jumped out to a 2-0 lead when Jenshak had a two-run single to score Samantha Gross and JoAnna Ruppa.

Ripon scored one run in the bottom of the first, but St. Norbert answered in the third inning when Jenshak scored on an error. The Green Knights went ahead 4-1 in the fourth when Jessica DeMeuse's double scored Ruppa.

The Red Hawks cut it to 4-2 in the bottom of the fourth but St. Norbert broke the game open with a three-run fifth inning. Laufer had a two-run double in the inning, while Amy McBride scored later in the inning on an error. Ripon scored once in the fifth, but St. Norbert got the run back in the top of the seventh with an Alex Kohnle RBI single.

Gildernick had the only multi-hit game for the Green Knights, who had eight hits. Brianna Byrne earned the win for St. Norbert, allowing eight hits and two earned runs while walking one with two strikeouts.