Foresters Knocked Out in NCAA Regional Final

Photos by Katie Frisbie
Photos by Katie Frisbie

A day after posted a 3-2 walk-off victory over the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Lake Forest was defeated 5-0 and 10-3 by the Eagles on Sunday in the championship round of the NCAA Division III Regional Tournament air Central College.

The first game of the day was scoreless until La Crosse plated three runs in the top of the fourth inning. The Eagles added a pair of insurance runs in their half of the seventh and worked around Forester senior centerfielder Maria Zepeda's second base hit of the game in the bottom half of the frame to finish off the shutout victory.

La Crosse jumped out to the early lead with a run in the bottom of the first inning of game two. Another tally for the Eagles an inning later made the score 2-0 and it remained that way until the top of the fifth. Junior first baseman Riley Frisbie drew a walk to lead off the inning and sophomore designated player Hannah Kalnicky followed with a base hit. After a sacrifice bunt by senior leftfielder Diamond Owens, Zepeda lined a single to right to drive in the team's first run of the day and advanced to second on the throw home. A sacrifice fly from junior catcher Sydney Wyatt tied the score and sent Zepeda to third, which turned out be important when she scored on a wild pitch to put Lake Forest on top 3-2.

The Forester lead was short-lived, however, as a homer on the first pitch in the bottom of the inning tied the score and La Crosse rallied for seven runs in the sixth.

The season-ending loss left Lake Forest with a 26-17 record and sent La Crosse to the super regional round of the NCAA Tournament at 29-18.

Zepeda and senior pitcher Kyra Lenzi joined junior second baseman Shaye Gauthier on the NCAA Regional All-Tournament Team after the final game of their careers. Looking ahead to next year, the team will also lose Owens and the left side of the infield, shortstop Alyssa Grimm and third baseman Emma Varsbergs to graduation.