CHAMPIONS! Softball Captures HL Tournament Title
DAYTON, Ohio (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – Continuing its strong hitting and pitching throughout the Horizon League Tournament, the Green Bay softball team captured its second conference tournament title in program history with a 9-0 five-inning win over Valparaiso on Saturday afternoon in Dayton.
The tournament title is the second in program history, and gives the Phoenix the Horizon League automatic qualifier ticket to the upcoming NCAA Softball Tournament. The NCAA Tournament field will be announced on Sunday evening at 9 p.m. CST.
Senior Ashley Nannemann (Burlington, Wis.) was named to the all-tournament team, received the tourney pitching award and was also named the Tournament MVP after hurling her third complete game. In Saturday’s contest she threw a five-inning shutout, allowing just two hits with three strikeouts.
Nannemann was joined on the all-tournament team by sophomore Kelli Hutchinson (Trevor, Wis.), senior Shannon Butts (Greenfield, Wis.), freshman Abby Brinkmeier (Eagan, Minn.) and sophomore Marissa Michalkiewicz (Appleton, Wis.).
Striking quickly in the game, senior Miranda Reinke (Milwaukee, Wis.) and Michalkiewicz put up back-to-back hits before Shannon Butts delivered a shot down the right field line to bring home Reinke and put the Phoenix ahead, 1-0.
The Phoenix offense came up big in the bottom of the third inning, batting around while getting five runs on two hits and a Valparaiso error to jump out to a 6-0 lead. Loading the bases with one out, freshman Katelyn Huemmer (Sun Prairie, Wis.) reached on a drop fly ball by Valpo second baseman Amanda Wisniewski that also allowed the first run of the inning to score. Junior Miranda Spangberg (Wausau, Wis.) then hit an RBI groundout to second for another run, and senior Stacey Butts (Greenfield, Wis.) cleared the bases with a triple to right that put Green Bay ahead, 5-0.
After giving up the triple, Valpo starter Sierra Pico exited the circle and was replaced by Mollie Lindeman, who gave up a single to her first batter faced, Hutchinson, for the final Phoenix run of the third.
Green Bay got three more runs in the bottom of the fourth as it built its advantage to 9-0. With one out, Shannon Butts singled to center and replaced by pinch runner Hailee Frey, who came home as Brinkmeier doubled to left center for the first run. Huemmer followed with a suicide squeeze bunt to score Brinkmeier and one batter later Stacey Butts reached on a Valparaiso error that allowed Huemmer to score and put the Green Bay advantage at 9-0.
Green Bay outhit the Crusaders, 9-2 in the game. Shannon Butts finished the day 2-for-2 at the plate, while Hutchinson was 2-for-3 with an RBI.
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