Softball Advances to Horizon League Championship
DAYTON, Ohio (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – The hot hitting and solid pitching continued for the Green Bay softball team as it advanced to the Horizon League Tournament Championship with a commanding 9-1 five-inning win over Valparaiso on Friday afternoon.
Green Bay improved to 26-12 overall on the season and will face the winner of the Valparaiso/UIC elimination game later this afternoon. The championship game will take place tomorrow at noon CST.
Senior Ashley Nannemann (Burlington, Wis.) put together an impressive start in the circle to improve to 10-7, pitching a complete game and scattering three hits with two strikeouts while allowing just one unearned run. All but one Green Bay batter tallied a hit in the contest.
Green Bay got on the board in the first inning to assume a 2-0 lead. Junior Hailey Mohrfeld (Menomonee Falls, Wis.) led off with a double to deep center and one batter later sophomore Marissa Michalkiewicz (Appleton, Wis.) delivered her fifth home run of the season deep over the wall in right center to bring in the two runs.
Valparaiso responded in the top of the second as Janelle Bouchard doubled to right and Jessie Marinec hit to Miranda Spangberg (Wausau, Wis.), but her throw to first sailed high and allowed Bouchard to score, cutting the Phoenix lead in half, 2-1.
Getting one of those runs back in the bottom of the second, freshman Katelyn Huemmer (Sun Prairie, Wis.) led off the inning with a single down the left field line. The next batter at the plate, Spangberg went to put down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runner. The hit was picked up by Valparaiso pitcher Taylor Weissenhofer, but her throw went wide of the bag at first and rolled to the fences on the right field side, allowing Huemmer to score and Spangberg to advance all the way to third.
Green Bay pushed across two more in the bottom of the third to grow the lead to 5-1. Senior Miranda Reinke (Milwaukee, Wis.) delivered a leadoff home run to straightaway center for the first run of the inning, recording her fifth home run of the season and extending her reached safely streak to 23 games. After the home run, Valpo starter Taylor Weissenhofer exited the circle and was replaced by Mollie Lindeman, who retired her first two batters faced. However, Abby Brinkmeier (Eagan, Minn.) then singled to left before the Phoenix was able to capitalize on another Crusaders error as Huemmer singled to right. Valpo’s Kaitlyn Ranieri lost the ball, allowing Huemmer to advance all the way to third and Brinkmeier to score for the 5-1 advantage.
It was a productive bottom of the fourth, with the Phoenix driving in five runs on four hits to jump out to a 9-1 lead. The Phoenix received RBI hits from Reinke, Michalkiewicz, Shannon Butts (Greenfield, Wis.) and Brinkmeier in the home half, with three of those hits coming with two outs showing on the scoreboard.
Valparaiso put one on base in the top of the fifth but Nannemann got the final batter to ground out as the game ended in a run-rule situation with the Phoenix owning an eight run lead.
At the plate, Reinke went 2-for-3 with two RBI, while Michalkiewicz was 1-for-3 with three RBI.
For the latest and most up-to-date information on Green Bay Athletics, please visit GreenBayPhoenix.com.