Unbeaten season earns women’s softball a conference championship
Behind an all-time hitting barrage, St. Norbert College won its first Midwest Conference women’s softball championship since 1991 with a 13-9 triumph over five-time defending league champion Lake Forest College at Mel Nicks Field May 5.
The Green Knights team, which won its only other MWC crown in 1991, improved to 20-12 on the year and also earned a spot in the NCAA Division III Tournament, hosted by St. Norbert this year.
St. Norbert, which beat Illinois College 6-1 and Lake Forest 14-6 to become the tournament’s last unbeaten team, rallied from a 7-6 deficit to top the Foresters. St. Norbert put up three runs in the bottom of the third and four runs in the bottom of the sixth for a 13-7 advantage.
The Green Knights ended up hitting a blistering .450 for the tournament, collecting 36 hits in 80 at bats.
Brieanne Oehlke hit .875 for the tournament, going 7-for-8 with seven runs scored, three home runs and nine runs batted in. She also walked four times for an on-base percentage of .917—reaching safely 11 times in 12 plate appearances. Oehlke ignited St. Norbert’s fifth-inning rally with a solo home run to tie the score at 7-7.
Erin Pamperin, who hit .625 in the tournament, then hit a two-run home run for a 9-7 advantage. St. Norbert held Lake Forest through a clean inning in the top of the sixth, and then put the game out of reach on a bases-loaded walk by
Julie Hayes and a three-run double by Pamperin. Pamperin was 3-for-4 with five RBIs in the championship game.
The Green Knights went on to the seven-team double-elimination regional contest at Gelein Field in Carson Park, where they fell first to Illinois Wesleyan University. A 2-0 loss to the University of Chicago ended their first NCAA appearance in the tournament.
A great spring season for other Knights
Softball’s conference triumph was just one of the good news items in a spring athletics season in which:
- Tennis player
Aaron Sunday ’07 was featured in Sports Illustrated after he became the first person in Midwest conference history to win four No. 1 singles titles.
- Baseball claimed its second Midwest Conference North Division baseball title in the last three years.
Jim Strick ’97 has been honored with the 2007 Rising Star Award (college division) by the College Sports Information Directors of America. Strick is assistant athletics director for media relations at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
Watch the summer issue of your St. Norbert College Magazine for more details on these Green Knight triumphs.