By Justin Grones (@JustinGrones)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – Heading into Sunday’s series finale against Detroit, the Green Bay softball team (15-25, 8-12 HL) needed a win over the Titans and a Valparaiso victory over Youngstown State in order to qualify for the 2013 Horizon League Tournament. The Phoenix held up its end of the deal with a 5-0 shutout over Detroit (5-45, 2-19 HL), but Youngstown State snuck into the final playoff spot with a 3-2 win over the Crusaders in 11 innings. The Youngstown State win ends the season for the Phoenix, which finished just a half-game back of the Penguins in the final 2013 Horizon League standings.
Senior Allison Goecks (Beloit, Wis.) went all seven innings on Senior Day, picking up the shutout while allowing just three hits with five walks and a strikeout. Goecks (7-10) fought out of a jam in the top of the seventh to keep Detroit off the board and finish the complete game.
The Phoenix wasted little time getting on the board as junior Miranda Reinke (Milwaukee, Wis.) singled up the middle to score senior Dani Peerenboom (Appleton, Wis.). Peerenboom helped the home team gain a 2-0 advantage in the bottom of the second with an RBI double to center field.
Freshman Marissa Michalkiewicz (Appleton, Wis.) led off the bottom of the third with a triple to center and later scored when sophomore Tia Collins (Orfordville, Wis.) reached on an error by the pitcher. With two outs, senior Cassie Scheel (Hartland, Wis.) drew a walk with the bases loaded to bring home Reinke and give the home team a 4-0 lead.
Senior Jess Hrncar (Bristol, Wis.) slapped a single to shallow right field to lead off the home half of the fourth, and advanced to third on the next play when Michalkiewicz singled up the middle. Reinke followed her with an RBI single to left field, giving the Phoenix a 5-0 advantage.
A hit batter, followed by a walk and then a wild pitch made things interesting in the top of the seventh as the Titans put runners on second and third with nobody out. An ensuing second walk loaded the bases, but Goecks fought out of the jam with three consecutive outs to end the game.
Reinke led Green Bay with a 3-for-4 performance at the plate with two RBI and a run scored. Michalkiewicz, who finished the season with a .398 average—tied for the program’s best single-season mark—went 2-for-4 with a run scored. Peerenboom went 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored, while Hrncar finished 1-for-3 with a run. Freshman Alyssa Johnson (Elmhurst, Ill.) was a perfect 1-for-1 on the afternoon while scoring a run.
Prior to Sunday’s contest the Phoenix recognized its six seniors—Goecks, Hrncar, Peerenboom, Scheel, Paige Newtols (Green Bay, Wis.) and Tieraney Planasch (Juneau, Wis.).
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