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MLC swept in UMAC

April 25, 2012
Dave Clark - Journal Sports Writer ( , The Journal

NEW ULM - When the defense rests in a courtroom trial, the outcome is still in doubt.

When the defense rests on the softball field, the outcome is losses.

The Martin Luther College Knights women's softball team had three errors in both ends of a doubleheader Tuesday afternoon, first dropping a 5-0 game against University of Minnesota-Morris, then a 6-4 setback to the Presentation Saints where they also left nine runners stranded.

"We left four out of nine runners in scoring position against Presentation and that's too many. We were better (defensively) in the second game than in the first game," Knights coach Barb Leopold said. "In the first game, we only had two hits, so we made better contact against Presentation. But we still need to pick it up a notch defensively. Against UM-Morris, we were fighting ourselves, then everything snowballed."

While MLC's overall record is 8-17, 7-9 in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference, they did rebound from a 6-0 deficit against Presentation in the nightcap.

The Knights left runners at second and third in the first inning and first and second in the second inning, while pitcher Sarah Free was cruising against the Saints offense.

But in the Presentation third, a walk, double and throwing error led to the Saints' first two runs. They scored four more in the fourth, again helped by a throwing error that allowed Saints batters to hit a double and triple to extend the lead to 6-0.

MLC started a comeback in the fourth when Free was hit by a pitch to start the inning, took second on a passed ball then went to third on Madeline Scott's grounder. Katie Scherer's triple to right and MacCartney Mendolla's single made it 6-2.

Karla Opperman then led off the Knights' sixth with a single to left and was replaced by courtesy runner Brittney Gossen. Amanda Fogle reached on a throwing error that allowed Gossen to score from first. Fogle scored later on another throwing error by the Saints to move the scoreboard to 6-4. MLC got the first two batters on in the seventh, but couldn't advance either of them.

Free took the loss, while Mendolla and Emily Waldek were both 3-for-4 at the plate.



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