Marian softball reaches NACC championship but falls to MSOE 9-1

Paige Rauhut pitches.

MONTGOMERY, Ill. - Marian University softball (26-15, 15-7 NACC) reached the NACC championship for the first time since 2008 with a 4-0 win over Aurora but were then defeated by MSOE 9-1 in six innings.

The beginning of the day opened as a pitcher's duel against Aurora in an elimination game with neither team scoring through the first four innings.  Marian was able to put up a crooked number in the fifth inning plating four runs to take the first lead.  Junior Ally Fox opened the scoring for the inning with a double to left center before a bases-loaded hit by pitch with sophomore Peyton Loesch at the dish brought in another run with two outs.  Sophomore Katy Croeker added to the lead with a two-out single that plated a pair of runs.

From there, it was all junior Paige Rauhut (13-8) as she tossed her fourth shutout of the season in a dominant performance in the circle.  Rauhut closed out the win only allowing five hits.  Offensively, Fox had the lone multi-hit game.

The Sabres were able to strike first in their second game of the day in a must-win against MSOE, but the Raiders rallied to win the tournament title.  Senior Lindsey Strainis was able to drive in a run in the third as freshman Kira Hall-Risor was able to score.

MSOE then answered with three runs in the bottom half of the inning to quickly take the lead.  The Raiders added to their lead an inning later with four more runs and closed out the win with a pair of runs in the sixth.

The Sabres close out the season with more than 20 wins for the fourth-consecutive season.