Marian softball bats come alive to salvage split against CUW

Peyton Loesch gets ready to swing.

RIVER FOREST, Ill. - Marian University softball (18-8, 10-2 NACC) was defeated by Concordia Wisconsin 7-6 before snapping an eight-game losing streak against the Falcons in the finale with a 13-8 win.

The Sabres led 4-1 after five innings in the opener but the Falcons rallied for six runs in the final two innings to take game one of the series.  Freshman Alexa Rodriguez opened the scoring with a double down the left field line in the second inning to plate fellow freshman Katy Croeker.  The Falcons answered for a run in the next half inning before a two-run homer from sophomore Gianna Esposito put the Sabres ahead again.  Junior Rachel Soch then drove in freshman Peyton Loesch with a two-out single in the fifth to extend the Sabre lead.

A two-run home run from the Falcons in the top of the sixth started the Falcon rally but the Sabres held on to a 4-3 lead heading into the final inning.  Concordia Wisconsin then plated four runs in the top half of the seventh to take their first lead of the game at 7-4.  The Sabres wouldn't go away quietly in the bottom half of the inning, however, plating a pair of runs to cut the deficit to one.  With the go ahead run on second base, the Sabres were unable to complete the comeback, however.

Soch reached base three times in the defeat going 2-3 with a run driven in and a run scored, while Rodriguez also had a multi-hit game going 2-3 with a run driven in.  Sophomore Paige Rauhut (10-3) took the loss in the circle allowing five earned runs over 7.0 innings, while also striking out five.

Marian then took control early in the second game of the twin bill plating 10 runs in the first three innings.  A patient Sabre squad drew two walks and used two hit batters to plate three runs in the first.  Croeker and Soch brought in runs with a hit by pitch and walk, respectively, which was followed by a single from sophomore Taylor Lauscher that scored Esposito.

Loesch then opened the scoring in the second before a home run from Croeker that hit the left field foul pole put the Sabres ahead 6-1 after two innings.  Rodriguez joined in the homer party with her second big fly of the season, a two-run shot, to open the third inning.  Loesch then drove in a pair with a single to close out the third and give MU a 10-2 lead.

A single from sophomore Ally Fox in the fourth then plated Lauscher to put Marian ahead 11-2 after four innings.  The Falcons were then able to rally scoring six runs in the final three innings but a pair of runs from Marian in the bottom of the sixth ended any thought of another comeback.  It was Fox again in the sixth who did the damage as she drove in both runs with a single through the left side.

Fox had a huge game at the plate going 5-5 with three runs scored and three driven.  Rodriguez closed out her strong doubleheader going 3-4 with two runs scored and two driven in, while Lauscher went 3-3 with a run driven in and three runs scored.

Loesch (5-2) earned the victory in the circle going 4.2 innings allowing four earned runs.

Marian closes out the weekend tomorrow Sunday, April 22 at Alverno for a noon twin bill in conference action.

--FightBlueFight--