Aurora's late rally ends Softball season in NAC Tournament
MILWAUKEE – A five-run sixth inning for Aurora University broke a 3-3 tie as the Spartans eliminated the Concordia University Wisconsin Softball team from the Northern Athletics Conference Tournament Sunday at Alverno Field, 8-3.
The top-seeded Spartans scored all five of their runs in the sixth inning before an out was recorded as they got RBI hits from four different players, including a two-RBI single off the bat of Lillie Stone. CUW got one hit in the top of the seventh but that would be all as AU advanced to the championship game with the 8-3 victory.
CUW struck first on Sunday as senior Abbie Goetsch (Grayslake, Ill.) singled in sophomore Jessica Liszka (Lindenhurst, Ill.) in the top of the first inning. Aurora answered with three runs in the bottom of the second which included a solo home run off the bat of Sarah Clauser.
The Falcons would push across a run each in the third and fifth innings, both via RBI singles from senior Cara Landherr (Waukesha, Wis.). The 3-3 score would remain until the bottom of the sixth when Aurora tallied the five-run frame.
Landherr and Liszka led the Falcons offensive attack as each player recorded two hits. Landherr drove in two runs for CUW, while Liszka scored a pair of runs. Also scoring a run for CUW was junior Stephanie Kramer (Fond du Lac, Wis.).
Vanessa Hartzell got the win in the circle for Aurora as she pitched 2.1 shutout innings in relief of starter Natalie Zanella. Hartzell allowed just one hit and struck out three. Freshman Melissa Perkins (Park Forest, Ill.) took the loss for CUW as she threw three innings in relief of starter Jamie Schuh (Freedom, Wis.).
CUW concludes its 2013 season with a 28-17 record. The Falcons offense ranked in the top of the conference in several hitting categories as they finished the season with 34 home runs and 311 runs scored.