MILWAUKEE - Marian University softball (26-13, 17-5 NACC) was able to extend their season defeating Wisconsin Lutheran 5-4 but were then defeated by Aurora 14-4 to close out the 2018 season.
The opener was a back-and-forth affair with WLC but a late push from the Sabres proved to be enough. The Warriors opened with the lead scoring in the second before the Sabres took the lead in the third. Freshman Peyton Loesch would drive a two-out double to score freshman Kenzie Waechter and junior Lindsey Strainis to take a 2-1 lead.
Wisconsin Lutheran immediately answered in the next half inning but the Sabres managed to retake the lead for good shortly after. Sophomore Ally Fox opened the inning with a one-out single and immediately stole second base before Strainis drove her second home run to center field in as many days to give Marian a 4-2 lead.
The Warriors looked to threaten in the top of the sixth loading the bases with only one out but freshman Myranda Schuttenhelm would come in and shut the door allowing no runs.
Needing insurance, junior Olivia Hartley would hit a pinch-hit solo home run in the bottom of the sixth to give the Sabres a 5-2 lead. The Warriors would make things interesting in the top of the seventh plating a pair of runs but Loesch would ultimately close out her second save of the season and extend the Marian season.
Sophomore Gianna Esposito and Loesch each had multi-hit games with Esposito hitting two doubles. Strainis and Loesch each drove in two runs in the victory. In the circle, sophomore Paige Rauhut (16-5) battled to toss 5.1 innings and earn the victory only allowing one earned run.
The Spartan offense took over in game two of the day as the Sabres saw their season come to an end. Marian began a strong rally in the fifth inning when they were able to plate four runs starting with a long ball from Esposito. Sophomore Taylor Lauscher would drive in a run later in the inning. Then with two outs, junior Rachel Soch would rip a double to drive in a run and Waechter plated a run with a single.
Soch led the Sabres having a strong game going 3-for-3 with a run driven in and a run scored. Sophomore Ally Fox and Loesch also had multi-hit games in the defeat.
Marian earned a share of their first NACC title in the 2018 season and had five different members earn All-NACC recognition.