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Liszka leads offense, Softball splits doubleheader at Marian

Liszka leads offense, Softball splits doubleheader at Marian

FOND dU LAC, Wis. - Abbie Goetsch crushed a two-run home run to propel Concordia University Wisconsin to a victory in the opening game of a doubleheader at Marian University, but it was the Sabres who received a dramatic walk-off, two-out grand slam in the finale to split the Northern Athletics Conference softball series. CUW won the first game 4-2 before falling 11-7 at Smith Fields.

Freshman Jessica Liszka (Lindenhurst, Ill.) led the Falcons with a 5-for-9 performance, to go along with three RBI and five total bases. Senior Sarah Cochran (Bloomington, Ill.) scored three times and the Falcons struck out just twice during the two games.

CUW (11-11, 6-2 NAC) completed its six-game conference road swing with a 4-2 record and split the last two doubleheaders.

Game One Recap:

The offense was hard to come by during the first three innings of play, as there was a combined five players that reached base, but could not cross the plate.

Senior Chelsie Strosina (Burlington, Wis.) finally broke the scoreless tie in the fourth inning with a RBI single to right field which scored Cochran who reached on a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch.

Goetsch (junior, Grayslake, Ill.) hit the team's only long ball and scored the winning run with one swing of the bat three pitches later. Her homer gave CUW a 3-0 lead after three-and-a-half innings of play.

Cochran scored the Falcons fourth and final run of the game after the Sabres committed a throwing error. She reached base on her second single of the contest and advanced to second on junior Cara Landherr (Waukesha, Wis.) sacrifice bunt.

In the bottom of the seventh Emily Boehnlein hit a solo home run over the right-center field wall for MU's first run. Several batters later Liz Schaller crossed the plate on a wild pitch.

In the circle, it was a combined effort by sophomore Jamie Schuh (Freedom, Wis.) and senior Danielle Burke (Burlington, Wis.). The duo struck out six, while Schuh earned the win and Burke picked up her first save of the season.

Game Two Recap:

It took a while for the offense to come alive in game one, but the nightcap was a different story. Each squad plated a trio of runs in the opening frame and the Sabres scored twice more in the second and fifth to build a 7-3 lead.

The Falcons answered with a run in the fifth and three in the top of the seventh to tie the game at 7-7 prior to Emilie Jansen's dramatic two-out, walk-off grand slam.

Liska finished 4-for-5 with three RBI to lead the Falcons, while Aubrey O'Brien went 3-for-4 with three RBI and three runs scored for the Sabres.

CUW scored in a variety of ways to open the game as they plated on a run on a RBI single, fielder's choice and a fielder's choice sacrifice bunt.

MU answered with three runs in the bottom half of the opening frame with two runs off a Falcons fielding error and plated another tally on Nikki Ponticelli's double to left field.

O'Brien hit a two-run homer over the left field wall to push the Sabres advantage to 5-3 after two frames.

MU added two more runs on back-to-back hitters in the fifth to increase its lead to 7-3. Schaller hit a sacrifice fly to score Daniele Gerth and O'Brien hit a RBI single.

Liska lined a RBI single to center field in the top of the sixth to cut the Falcons deficit to 7-4.

CUW found a way to rally after two outs in the seventh with three runs to tie the game at 7-all. Tt appeared extra innings would be needed after freshman Sara Skarda (Pleasant Prairie, Wis.) hit an infield RBI single prior to Liska's two-RBI single up the middle.

After a pair of walks and a fielding error to load the bases, Jansen drove the second pitch of her at-bat over the left-center field wall in walk-off fashion.

CUW returns home on Saturday for a doubleheader matchup against cross-town rival MSOE. The first pitch of the Northern Athletics Conference contests begins at 12 p.m. at Fitting Field.

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