Senior leftfielder Sydney Gardner scored two runs and drove in three on the day as the Lake Forest College softball team posted a 3-1 victory over Luther College, the eighth-ranked team in the country, and a 7-0 shutout of the University of Dubuque on Sunday at the Associated Colleges of the Midwest Tournament in Rochester, Minnesota.
The event was held indoors at the Rochester Regional Stadium and Bubble and was hosted by Luther.
Gardner gave the Foresters all the scoring they would need against Luther on a two-run double in the top of the fourth inning. Freshman second baseman Hannah Kalnicky, who is batting a team-high .462 through four games, led off the frame with a base hit. Senior shortstop Kat Beall singled two batters later and the runners advanced to second and third on a groundout. Gardner was ahead in the count 2-0 when she flew a double to left to drive in both runners and give her team a 2-1 lead.
Luther had led 1-0 since the bottom of the first inning and threatened to score again in the fourth, putting two runners on with one out and loading the bases with two. Forester sophomore pitcher Missy Dieckman-Meyer, however, induced a flyout to Gardner to escape the jam. Junior Kyra Lenzi replaced Dieckman-Meyer in the fifth and recorded the final nine outs to earn the save. Lake Forest pitchers combined to strike out five batters and allow just five base hits in the contest. Dieckman-Meyer improved to 2-0 with a stellar 0.64 earned run average in her two starts on the weekend and Lenzi, who pitched at the University of North Dakota the last two years, recorded her first career save.
The Foresters tacked on an insurance run in the top of the sixth when junior centerfielder Maria Zepeda drew a two-out walk and came all the way around to score on a double by sophomore catcher Sydney Wyatt.
Lake Forest doubled up the Norse in hits 10-5 with Wyatt, Kalnicky, Beall, and junior rightfielder Abby King each accounting for two of them.
Gardner and freshman first baseman Nicole Schussler turned in two-hit performances in the team's second game as the Foresters out-hit Dubuque 11-3.
Freshman pitcher Shaye Gauthier earned the shutout in her first career start in the circle, allowing just three singles while striking out three hitters and walking two.
A four-run second inning gave Gauthier a nice cushion early in the contest. Beall started the rally by reaching on a two-out error and promptly stole second base. Back-to-back doubles by sophomore designated player Riley Frisbie and Kalnicky brought home the first two runs and Gardner singled in the third. She then stole second and came home on an error by the Spartans' shortstop.
Schussler, Gardner, and Zepeda started the bottom of the fourth inning with back-to-back-toback singles and an error on the third base hit brought home a pair of runs, making the score 6-0.
The Foresters' final tally of the day came in the sixth on a two-out ground rule double by Kalnicky.
While Lake Forest improved to 3-1 on the young season, Luther fell to 4-1 and Dubuque to 2-2.
The Foresters' next 10 games will be played in Florida during their Spring Break trip. The team's first outdoor game of the year will be against the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth at 2:00 (EST) in the afternoon on Monday, March 12, and a match-up against Concordia University Wisconsin will follow at 4:30.