MENOMONEE FALLS, WI - The Bay College Softball Team (12-6) would drop two high scoring affairs to the Bryant and Stratton Bobcats (6-14). A big fourth inning would be the downfall in a 17-9 loss in game one, and the Norse would fight to come back late in game two, only to fall by a final of 12-11.
GAME 1 - BRYANT AND STRATTON - 17, BAY COLLEGE - 9
Richelle Vandeville (FR, Rapid River, MI) gave the Norse an early lead, singling in a run in the top of the first with one out. Bay would add on in the second after a two-out error would extend the inning. Eve LaFleche (FR, Hillman, MI) dropped an RBI single to left, and Emily Bruntjens (SO, Escanaba, MI) followed that with a triple, then scored on a passed ball, giving Bay a 4-0 lead.
The Bobcats answered back in the bottom half, and it would be set up by a leadoff walk. Samantha Flannery (FR, Kenosha, WI) doubled in a run, and would score on Heather Anderson's (SO, Glendale Heights, IL) single to center, cutting the Bay lead in half. Their bats would continue in the third after a Bay defensive miscue started the rally. Brianna Zook (FR, Shawano, WI), Kelly Schiller (FR, Hustisford, WI), and Flannery would all hit RBI doubles, giving Bryant and Stratton their first lead of the game. Beth Gannigan's (FR, Coleman, WI) double would tie the score back up in the top of the fourth.
The bottom of the fourth took a big turn in favor of the Bobcats. Meghan Strasser (FR, Waterford, WI) got it going with a two-run homerun. Six Norse errors would spell disaster, as the Bobcats would take advantage and collect six hits and 11 runs in the inning. Bay would try to rally in the fifth, as Maddy Griffin (FR, Escanaba, MI) drove in two runs with a single and Emily LaFave (SO, Escanaba, MI) picked up two RBI with a double, but Bryant and Stratton would plate a run in the fifth to end the game early.
Bruntjens ended up with a double, a triple, two runs scored, and an RBI in three at bats. Bay pitchers would give up just six earned runs of the 17 that crossed the plate. Rhiley Hubert (SO, Rapid River, MI) was tagged with the loss in relief.
GAME 2 - BRYANT AND STRATTON - 12, BAY COLLEGE - 11
Five hits, an error, and a walk would give the Bobcats a 6-0 lead after one inning of play. After adding a run in the second, it looked as though the home team would be in control of the game. Bay would respond in the fourth however, and a bases loaded two-out walk followed by an error would plate three and put the Norse within striking distance.
Flannery helped the Bobcats respond with an RBI double in the bottom half, and Anderson would follow that up with a two RBI single. Bay would have to work out of the deficit again, this time they would get a two-run homerun from Vandeville in the top of the fifth, and Bryant and Stratton would hold on to a 10-5 lead. LeFleche led off the sixth with a single, and a Bobcat error and a hit batter loaded the bases for the Norse. Another defensive miscue for the home team plated a run, and Griffin would lift a sacrifice fly to right field to drive in another. Vandeville followed that with an RBI single, and an error would send another runner home. Two passed balls during the next two at bats would bring in runs for the Norse, and they would complete the comeback, taking an 11-10 lead.
A leadoff single in the bottom of the sixth, followed by a sacrifice bunt and an error, would set up the Bobcats with a runner on third. They would choose to lay down a bunt, and it would be successful as the Norse would try for the out at the plate but the throw would be too late, They would work out of the jam to keep the game tied, but would strand two runners in the top of the seventh, setting up the dramatic finish. The leadoff hitter in the bottom of the seventh, Ashley Weimann (FR, Sheboygan, WI), hit a fly ball to left field that carried over the fence, giving the Bobcats a walk-off homerun and a doubleheader sweep over the Norse.
Vandeville finished the game with two hits, in five at bats, and three RBI. Kaitlyn Hardwick (FR, Gladstone, MI) had a two hit game in five at bats, a double, two runs, and an RBI. Griffin ended two for four with an RBI, a run scored, and a walk.
The second half of the four game series between these two teams has been postponed due to freezing temperatures overnight and an unfavorable forecast on Sunday afternoon. The Norse are scheduled to play at Gogebic Community College on April 10. That doubleheader is scheduled for a 4 pm start.