Sophomore second baseman Shaye Gauthier received the Midwest Conference Elite 20 Award on Saturday in between a pair of multi-hit performances on the first day of the 2019 MWC Tournament.
Gauthier was 2-for-4 in the Foresters' 7-3 victory over Grinnell College in the opening round of the double-elimination tournament, which Lake Forest is hosting after capturing the league's regular season title. She scored the first run of the game on a bases-loaded walk to Forester junior first baseman Riley Frisbie in the bottom of the first inning.
Three seniors drove in a run apiece for Lake Forest in the second. Doubles by centerfielder Maria Zepeda and shortstop Alyssa Grimm and a single by leftfielder Diamond Owens made the score 4-0. After the Pioneers plated a run in the top of the fourth, the Foresters matched it on a home run by junior rightfielder Maddie Trost in the bottom of the frame. Both teams also scored twice in the sixth, the Foresters on a home run by freshman pinch-hitter Hailey Boylan.
All three Pioneer runs off junior pitcher Missy Dieckman-Meyer were unearned and she struck out five batters without issuing a walk in the contest.
St. Norbert College defeated Illinois College in the other opening round game and Grinnell eliminated Illinois College with a 1-0 victory in game three of the tournament.
Friday's final game was a 9-4 triumph for the Foresters against St. Norbert. Lake Forest racked up 13 hits in the contest, iincluding three each by Owens and Gauthier.
The Green Knights took the early lead on a two-run homer in the bottom of the first inning and Lake Forest cut the deficit in half in the top of the second on a run-scoring single by sophomore catcher Nicole Schussler.
The score remained 2-1 until the Foresters rallied for six runs in the top of the sixth. Grimm drove in the first two on a double and the other four came in on a pair of two-run home runs by Trost and sophomore designated player Hannah Kalnicky.
After St. Norbert scored twice in the bottom of the sixth, the Foresters answered with two in their next at-bat. Gauthier, who doubled in the first and sixth innings, tripled in a run in the seventh and later scored on a groundout by Frisbie.
Senior pitcher Kyra Lenzi surrendered a pair of earned runs in six innings and struck out three batters without a walk. Dieckman-Meyer tossed a scoreless seventh to finish off the victory.
The Foresters are now 23-15 on the season and will play in the championship game of the tournament at noon on Saturday against the winner of the 10:00 a.m. game between Grinnell and St. Norbert. A second championship game will be played at 2:00, if necessary. All of Saturday's contests will be played at Lake Forest College.