Late Defensive Lapse Sends St. Norbert Into Losers' Bracket

From Sports Information Director, May 1, 2009 | Softball
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

RIPON - A four-error seventh inning by St. Norbert College led to a four-run Ripon College inning to lead the Red Hawks to a 5-2 win over the Green Knights in the Midwest Conference Softball Tournament at Tracy Field.

The Green Knights (14-17) had a golden opportunity to knock off the defending champion Red Hawks (20-12) when they carried a 2-1 lead into the seventh inning, but Ripon had two hits to capitalize on four St. Norbert errors to steal the win. St. Norbert loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, but couldn't score.

St. Norbert will face Lake Forest College in an elimination game at 10 a.m. Saturday. The winner will have to beat Ripon College twice to win the tournament championship.

St. Norbert pulled ahead 2-1 with two runs in the bottom of the sixth. Kayla Krueger had a run-scoring single to score Tracy Palmer. Brieanne Oehlke's double to left-center field plated Krueger.

The loss spoiled a sterling pitching effort by Krueger, who allowed five hits with no walks and two strikeouts. St. Norbert had just five hits of its own against Ripon pitchers Brittnee Peotter and Andrea Knorr.

St. Norbert opened the tournament with a resounding 8-1 win over Lake Forest College. Krueger spun a four-hitter with no walks and four strikeouts, not allowing a run until the seventh.

Collette Ullmer had a two-run home run to put St. Norbert on the scoreboard in the fifth. Palmer then had a run-scoring single later in the frame to make it 3-0. Kristin Zimmerman's RBI single in the sixth gave St. Norbert a 4-0 advantage. The Green Knights broke through with four runs in the seventh on five hits, getting a run-scoring single by Krueger, a two-run single by Stephanie Ortiz and an RBI double by Oehlke.

Ortiz was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two runs batted in against Lake Forest, while Oehlke was 2-for-3. St. Norbert had 11 hits against the Foresters.