St. Norbert Splits on First Day of MWC Tournament

From Sports Information Director, May 2, 2014 | Softball
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

LAKE FOREST, Ill. - St. Norbert College split its first two games at the Midwest Conference Tournament hosted by Lake Forest College at Nick Wasylik Field. The Green Knights won their opener in a 1-0 nailbiter over Monmouth College, and then fell to the Foresters 4-1.

St. Norbert (17-16) will now face Monmouth (21-17) in a loser-out game at 10 a.m. Saturday. The winner of that game must beat Lake Forest (25-8) twice to win the MWC championship.

The Green Knights ended up with the only run they would need in the opener when Jessica DeMeuse led off the bottom of the first inning with a home run to left field. St. Norbert would leave two runners on base each in the fourth and fifth innings, but couldn't push across an insurance run.

Monmouth had a last-ditch rally in the top of the seventh fall short. Caitlyn Lingle coaxed a walk to open the frame, and was sacrificed to second. Kaitlyn Winkler then flew out to right field, and JoAnna Ruppa cut down Lingle trying to advance to third to end the game.

Morgan Rusch twirled a two-hit shutout to improve to 10-9 on the season. Rusch yielded two walks and struck out two.

Against Lake Forest, the Foresters scored three runs on three hits in the bottom of the first inning to take control. The Green Knights scored a run in the top of the third inning on a DeMeuse RBI single, but left two runners on. Lake Forest picked up an insurance run on an Alex Hemmer home run in the fifth, but St. Norbert - which had three hits in the game - couldn't draw nearer.

Brianna Byrne took the loss for the Green Knights, allowing four hits and three runs with four walks and one strikeout in 2 2/3 innings.