Sophomore catcher Nicole Schussler's third hit of the day brought home the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning in a 5-4 triumph over Hope College on Saturday. Lake Forest was defeated 7-3 by SUNY-Geneseo earlier in the afternoon.
Schussler belted a pair of run-scoring doubles against Geneseo, the first in the top of the fourth inning and the other in the sixth. Junior rightfielder Maddie Trost also drove in a run with a double prior to Schussler's two-bagger in the fourth.
The Knights rallied for five runs in the bottom of the second inning and added a couple of insurance scores in the fifth.
Lake Forest jumped out to the early lead in the team's second contest of the day. Senior centerfielder Maria Zepeda drew her program record-setting 71st career walk to lead off the bottom of the first and came home three batters later on a throwing error.
The Foresters added three more tallies in the third and the rally was once again started by Zepeda. She doubled down the left field line and scored on a base hit by senior shortstop Alyssa Grimm. Senior third baseman Emma Varsbergs followed with another single and a double by junior first baseman Riley Frisbie plated Grimm. After a groundout, Trost singled in Varsbergs to make the score 4-0.
Lake Forest junior pitcher Missy Dieckman-Meyer allowed just one base hit and did not allow a Hope baserunner to reach second in the game's first five innings. She ran into trouble in the sixth, however, and the Flying Dutch scored three runs against her and one on senior Kyra Lenzi by the time the inning ended. The potential lead run reached second base with one out against Lenzi in the top of the seventh but she retired the next two batters to end the threat.
Varsbergs and Frisbie started the bottom of the seventh with back-to-back base hits and Trost added another single to load the bases with one out. Schussler then singled to left to drive in freshman pinch-runner Josie Klein with the winning run.
The Foresters went 5-5 on their Spring Break trip to the Orlando area and are now 7-7 on the season. Geneseo improved to 1-1 and Hope fell to 2-1.
Lake Forest's next two contests will be played at Illinois Wesleyan University, the second-ranked team in the nation, on Thursday, March 28. Game one of the doubleheader is scheduled to begin at 4:00 p.m.