Senior Jessi Werner tossed a one-hit shutout in the Lake Forest College softball team's 1-0 victory over Illinois College in the first round of the Midwest Conference Tournament. The Foresters, who are hosting the double-elimination event after claiming the league championship, then fell 8-0 in five innings to Monmouth College.
Werner faced just three over the minumum in the contest. She hit the first batter of the game with a pitch but the baserunner was eventually caught trying to steal second. An infield single with one out in the third inning was the Lady Blues' only hit and the visitors drew a two-out walk in the fifth and a leadoff base on balls in the sixth. Werner struck out at least one batter in every inning and finished with nine in the game. She improved to 15-4 on the season and improved her program record career shutout total to 17.
Forester freshman centerfielder Maria Zepeda scored the only run of the contest in the bottom of the second inning. She led off the frame with a double to deep left-center, advanced to third on a foulout to short right field, and scored on a groundout by senior second baseman Vasi Panos.
The tournament's other opening round game was a 2-1 victory for Monmouth College over Carroll University. Carroll then eliminated Illinois College with a 2-0 triumph in game three. Illinois College finished the season with a 21-17 record.
Monmouth jumped out to the early lead over the Foresters with three runs in the bottom of the first inning in the final game of the day. The Fighting Scots added another tally in the second and four more in the fourth.
Lake Forest is now 25-12 this season and will take on Carroll (24-14) in an elimination game Saturday morning at 10:00. The winner will advance to the tournament championship against Monmouth (28-10) at noon and will need to defeat the Scots again at 2:00 to win the tournament and secure the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.