St. Norbert in Driver's Seat at MWC Tournament

From Sports Information Director, May 5, 2012 | Softball
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

LAKE FOREST, Ill. - St. Norbert College is the lone unbeaten team remaining at the Midwest Conference Tournament after garnering a pair of wins on the first day of action at Lake Forest College's Nick Wasylik Field.

The Green Knights (16-17) opened the tournament with a five-inning 8-0 win over Monmouth College, and then outlasted Carroll University 4-1 in eight innings to move to the championship round. St. Norbert will face Sunday morning's Carroll-Monmouth winning in the championship game at noon. The Green Knights need to win just once in two potential games to win the league championship for the third time in four years.

St. Norbert scored three times in the top of the eighth to get the win over Carroll (20-13). Ashtin Schmechel opened the inning with a single, and moved up when Steph Brunette's sacrifice attempt was erred to put runners on second and third with no outs. Following a strikeout, Morgan Buboltz's two-run single up the middle made it a 3-1 game. Buboltz came around to score on another fielding error by Carroll.

Carroll took a 1-0 lead in the third inning, but the Green Knights answered on an RBI single by Samantha Gross.

Shannen Schmidt earned the win for St. Norbert, allowing eight hits with no walks and five strikeouts. Buboltz was 2-for-3 for the Green Knights, who had seven hits in the game.

St. Norbert wasted little time taking command in the opener, scoring three times in the first and twice more in the second for a 5-0 lead. Gross had an RBI groundout and MacKenzie Hazen socked a two-run double in the first. Brunette had an RBI single in the second, and later scored on an illegal pitch.

Brittany Bauknecht had an RBI single in the third. Gross scored on a wild pitch in the fifth, and the game ended on an RBI double by Schmechel.

Brunette, Hazen and Bauknecht were all 2-for-3 in the game. Schmidt earned the win in that game as well, spinning a two-hit shutout with two walks and seven strikeouts.