Junior rightfielder Maddie Trost became the first Forester this season to belt two home runs in a game and her team defeated visiting Monmouth College 7-1 and 8-5 on Sunday to clinch at least a share of the 2019 Midwest Conference championship.
Trost started the scoring in game one with a three-run homer to center in the bottom of the first inning. She was also one of three Foresters to score in the third, one on a single by senior shortstop Alyssa Grimm, another on a double by junior first baseman Riley Frisbie, and the last on a base hit by sophomore designated player Hannah Kalnicky. After the Fighting Scots got on the scoreboard with a run in the top of the fifth, Trost answered with her second round-tripper of the contest and fourth this season in the bottom of the frame.
Senior centerfielder Maria Zepeda matched Trost with two of the home team's 10 hits in the game.
Junior Missy Dieckman-Meyer pitched all seven innings for the Foresters, allowing just one run on four hits while striking out four. She did not allow a base on balls for the fourth time in her last five starts.
Senior Kyra Lenzi earned the victory in game two for Lake Forest, improving to 7-3 on the season. She continues to lead the team in earned run average at 2.37, slightly better than Dieckman-Meyer's 2.43.
The Foresters began game two with another three-run opening inning. The first came home on an throwing error following a Trost single and Frisbie plated the other two on a base hit up the middle. After surrendering a run in the top of the second, Lake Forest plated a pair in the bottom of the third, one on a bases-loaded walk to junior third baseman Haylee Sherlund and the other on a single to left by senior leftfielder Diamond Owens.
Five of the Fighting Scots' nine hits in the contest came during a four-run fourth inning that tied the score at five. Sophomore second baseman Shaye Gauthier led off the bottom of the frame and, two batters later, came home on a sacrifice fly by Trost. Grimm, who followed Gauthier's double with a single up the middle, stole second, advanced to third on passed ball, and scored on a wild pitch to make the score 7-5. Sherlund singled in Frisbie with the final run of the day in the bottom of the sixth.
The first victory of the day clinched Lake Forest's 20th consecutive berth in the four-team Midwest Conference Tournament and the second guaranteed the Foresters would be no worse than co-MWC champions. The team is now 20-14 overall this season and 13-3 in league play. Monmouth fell to 13-23 overall and 10-8 in the conference.
Lake Forest will travel to Lawrence University on Monday for a 3:00 p.m. doubleheader. A victory in either game would secure first place in the league standings for the Foresters, who would also earn the right to host the MWC Tournament May 3-4.