Marian Athletics 2016-17 Top 10 Moments
#1 - Softball Upsets MSOE to Open NACC Tournament
Earning a spot in the NACC Tournament for the first time since 2012 wasn't enough for Marian softball as they opened the tourney with a 7-6 upset win against MSOE.
The Sabres jumped out early with three runs in the first inning and tacked on another three spot in the fourth for the early 6-1 lead. A single from sophomore first baseman Olivia Hartley in the fifth scored senior center fielder Nicole LaBeck and also proved to be the game-winner after the Raiders mounted a rally. MSOE would score three runs in the fifth and put the tying run on third base in the bottom of the seventh before senior pitcher Shannon Huray shut the door for her third save of the season, a program record for a single season.
Senior catcher Sara Terrian led the way going 3-3 with two runs batted in and a run scored, while freshman Paige Rauhut earned the win going 4.1 innings to improve to 12-5 at the time.
Marian finished the year with the third most wins in program history and the fourth highest winning percentage going 27-16. The pitching staff for the Sabres especially led the way with the fifth lowest team ERA for a single season in program history at 2.37. The offense wasn't outdone as they recorded the third most hits (368) for a single season in program history and the second most doubles (65).
The Sabres had three All-NACC honorees led by freshman second baseman Ally Fox who was named first team All-NACC. Fox led the Sabres offensively with a .405 batting average and a .426 on base percentage, while ranking sixth in the NACC with 34 runs scored. Fox had 18 multi-hit games out of the 34 games she played in and failed to reach base in only six games. The freshman second basemen also led the conference with 21 stolen bases and defensively had a .960 fielding percentage ranking third on the team with 98 putouts and 71 assists.
Freshman utility Gianna Esposito was a powerful bat in the middle of the Marian lineup and was named to the All-NACC Second Team. Esposito led the Sabres with two home runs on the year and a .507 slugging percentage. She also had a team-high 31 runs batted in, which ranked eighth in the NACC. Esposito was held hitless in only 10 games during the year and had 15 multi-hit games. The freshman also earned one player of the week award after hitting .533 with five runs batted in at the Finlandia Dome Classic to open the season.
Rauhut earned a spot on the All-NACC Freshman team after going 10-6 and leading the team in innings pitched (132.1), earned run average (2.17) and strikeouts (84). The freshman righty also broke a single game record by throwing 15.0 innings against Dominican on April 8.
Terrian closed out her career at Marian setting a program record for games played at 158, sixth most doubles with 32, and the ninth most hits with 154. The leader for the Sabres hit .354 in her final season and had the seventh most runs batted in for a single season in Marian history with 36. She also only struck out seven times in 146 plate appearances.
Marian would fall to Concordia Wisconsin in their next NACC Tournament game and were knocked out of the tournament by Aurora in a 2-1 walkoff defeat.