MILWAUKEE – Sheri Weidner knew it could potentially be the last game of her career on Thursday evening, but it wasn't as she blasted a home run to center field propelling Concordia University Wisconsin to a 4-2 victory over Dominican University. Jamie Schuh also did her part with six shutout innings in the circle during the opening day of the Northern Athletics Conference Tournament.
Schuh (sophomore, Freedom, Wis.) was in control allowing just seven base runners during the first six frames and striking out five. The Stars had trouble with her off speed pitches as she gave up just two hits through 22 batters.
It took just one pitch for Weidner (senior, Mount Prospect, Ill.) to put the finishing touches on the postseason victory for CUW (25-14). in the sixth. The designated player ended the game 2-for-3 and scored twice.
CUW advances to play No. 2-seeded Aurora University at 11 a.m. on Friday in Milwaukee at Alverno College. The Falcons were swept just over a week ago at home by the Spartans by scores of 8-5 and 9-8.
Senior Chelsie Strosina (Burlington, Wis.) and freshman Sara Skarda (Pleasant Prairie, Wis.) each finished the contest with two hits. CUW recorded eight base hits, with Strosina and Weidner each hitting a double.
Amy Paolini and Amanda Moran each had a base hit and scored for DU (21-10). The Stars had just four base hits in the game, with Moran reaching on DU's only extra base hit, a double.
Schuh (11-4) struck out five and walked three in a winning effort. The righty gave up two earned runs, hit two batters and threw one wild pitch.
Emily Mahoney (16-8) was tagged with the loss after giving up four earned runs, striking out three, walking none and throwing two wild pitches.
Strosina began the third frame with a line shot double down the left field line. The Falcons then played small ball when junior Holly Zinnecker (Roscoe, Ill.) and freshman Jessica Liszka (Lindenhurst, Ill.) layed down back-to-back sacrifice bunts, which brought Strosina home for the game's first run.
Sophomore Mariah Giesseman (Sturgeon Bay, Wis.) led off the fourth with a single to right center field prior to Weidner's double to right. A wild pitch then allowed Giesseman to score and give CUW a 2-0 advantage.
Weidner also advanced to third on the wild pitch, which allowed the Falcons to continue their small ball approach as Skarda hit a RBI sacrifice bunt to give CUW a 3-0 cushion.
Two innings later Weidner blasted her second home run of the season, after two outs were recorded, to give the Falcons a 4-0 lead.
The stress level rose for head coach Steve Crook in the top of the seventh after the Stars hit a one-out double prior to a wild pitch and a walk which put runners at the corners. DU proceeded to hit a sacrifice fly and a RBI triple to cut its deficit to 4-2. Schuh settled down and pitched a groundout to end the game.
The win is the first for the Falcons during the opening day of the NAC Tournament since they won the title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2009.