Green Knights Claim MWC North Division Crown

From Sports Information Director, April 26, 2014 | Softball
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

DE PERE - St. Norbert College qualified for the Midwest Conference Tournament and captured the league's North Division championship with a doubleheader sweep of Carroll University at Mel Nicks Field. The Green Knights won the opener 1-0 and then rallied to take the nightcap 5-3.

St. Norbert (16-15, 7-1 MWC North) will face an opponent to be determined at the Midwest Conference Tournament Friday at Lake Forest College.

The Green Knights scored the only run of the opener in the third inning. Abby Gildernick led off the inning with a single. Following a lineout, Jessica DeMeuse walked to move pinch-runner Emily Matuszak to second. Two batters later, Codi Jenshak drew a bases loaded walk to force in Matuszak.

Carroll's only scoring threat came in the top of the sixth when the first two hitters singled, but the Pioneers couldn't extend the rally.

Morgan Rusch twirled a five-hit shutout for the Green Knights, allowing five hits with no walks and three strikeouts. Emily Laufer was 2-for-3 for St. Norbert, which had five hits.

In the nightcap, St. Norbert took a first-inning lead when DeMeuse scored on a passed ball. Carroll answered with two runs in the top of the second on a two-run home run by Kelly Strasser. The Green Knights tied the game 2-2 on a solo home run by Gildernick in the second.

Carroll went ahead 3-2 in the third on an RBI single by Strasser, and held that lead into the fifth inning. Samantha Gross and Alex Kohnle had RBI singles in the fifth inning to put the Green Knights ahead 4-3. Tayler Long scored on an error in the sixth inning for an insurance run.

Gross and JoAnna Ruppa both went 2-for-3 for St. Norbert. Brianna Byrne earned the win by allowing one run and five hits in five innings of relief.