Long Road Back Ends Up Just Short For Green Knights

From Sports Information Director, May 7, 2011 | Softball
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

RIPON - St. Norbert College attempted to pull off a tripleheader sweep on the final day of the Midwest Conference Tournament for the second time in three years, but came up short in the title game at Ripon College's Tracy Field.

The Green Knights (20-18) rallied to beat Monmouth College 4-3 in the opener, and then topped Ripon 7-1 to force an extra title game. The host Red Hawks got the early lead and held on by a 7-1 score to win the MWC championship.

St. Norbert got two runs in the bottom of the seventh against Monmouth to extend its season. The Green Knights got an RBI fielder's choice from Kari Corbeille and a walk-off bases-loaded walk by Abby Van Straten.

Morgan Buboltz gave St. Norbert a 1-0 lead on an RBI single. The Scots answered with two runs in the top of the second and one more in the fourth for a 3-1 lead. The Green Knights responded in the fourth with an RBI single by Ashtin Schmechel to cut the deficit to 3-2. St. Norbert left the bases loaded in the ffith and one on in the sixth before rallying in the seventh.

Buboltz and Brittany Narges both had two hits against Monmouth. Kayla Krueger picked up the win, throwing three innings of hitless relief.

In the second game, Narges socked a grand slam to center field for a 4-0 second-inning lead. The Red Hawks scored their only run in the second, and St. Norbert answered with a Corbeille sacrifice fly in the third and a two-run home run by Steph Brunette in the fourth.

Krueger and Corbeille combined on a two-hitter, with Kruger getting the win going the first four innings. Corbeille struck out eight in her three innings of relief. Brunette was 4-for-5 with two runs scored and two doubles in addition to her home run. Buboltz was 2-for-4.

In the championship game, Ripon scored two runs in the top of the first inning and held that lead until scoring five times in the sixth to put the game away. St. Norbert's lone run came in the bottom of the sixth when Buboltz clobbered her school-record eighth home run of the year.

Krueger was 2-for-3 as the Green Knights had just six hits. She also took the loss, allowing three hits in the decisive first inning.