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The Lakeland College softball team finished its 2012 regular season campaign with a pair of losses to Northern Athletics Conference champion Benedictine University Sunday afternoon.
The Muskies dropped game one 4-0 and game two, 10-2 in five innings. Lakeland ends the NAC regular season 14-10, 19-17 overall and is the No. 5 seed in the NAC Tournament on May 3-5 in Milwaukee. The Muskies take on No. 4-seeded Marian University, who they swept on April 11, on May 3 at 3 p.m.
Lakeland couldn't find much of an offense against the top-seeded Eagles and ace pitcher, Brittany Adcox, who recorded 10 strikeouts.
Errors and quiet bats hurt the Muskies in game one, including three errors and only six hits. Benedictine, whose 17-game win streak ended yesterday with a loss to Marian, came ready to play. The Eagles used three hits and one run to take an early lead over Lakeland. They scored three more runs in the fourth inning to clinch the 2012 regular season NAC championship.
Lakeland quickly answered in game two and took a 1-0 lead in the first inning as sophomore Rieder drove in junior Heather Haeflinger. Haeflinger singled to start the Muskies' offense, but it wasn't enough to hold the Eagles. Benedictine answered with a four-run inning in the second and scored in each inning after until eventually taking the 10-2 win.
The Muskies tried to rally in the bottom of the fifth when junior McKenna Wenzel scored on junior Jenny LaLuzerne's single, but it wasn't enough to carry the team.
Rieder and LaLuzerne led the Muskies at the plate going 3-for-6 with an RBI, while sophomore Chelsea Gile went 2-for-5 with a double in game one.
"Benedictine is a good team and we couldn't get the hits we needed today," said head coach Chad Buchmann. "We made a rally in game two, but we couldn't get much to go when we needed it most. We'll have to be able to produce both offensively and defensively if we want to go far in the NAC Tournament next weekend."
Lakeland ended the doubleheader with 13 hits and four errors, but will look to make noise in the NAC Tournament on May 3-5.
The Muskies return to action on Thursday, May 3 against Marian University in game one of the NAC Tournament. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m. at Alverno College in Milwaukee.