MLC softball team falls in UMAC title game

MORRIS – The Martin Luther College softball team saw its school-record breaking season end in a 9-0 loss to Bethany Lutheran College in the Championship Game of the Upper Midwest Athletic Conferende Postseason Tournament Saturday.

Pitchers for both teams controlled the game early, as neither team scored in the first three innings.

That changed in the top of the fourth, as BLC scored four times against MLC starter Kathryn Marquardt. After allowing just one hit through three innings, Marquardt allowed five in the fourth, and also walked one as five consecutive BLC hitters reached base during one stretch.

The Vikings continued the scoring in the fifth inning, chasing Marquardt from the game after two hits to start the inning, and then scoring three times off reliever Laura Miller to push the MLC deficit to 7-0.

BLC added two more runs in the sixth to push its lead to 9-0. The Knights started a two-out rally in an attempt to extend the game in the bottom of the sixth. They loaded the bases with three consecutive singles, but MacCartney Mendolla’s fly ball to center field found the glove of Vikings’ centerfielder Gena Chester to end the game.

MLC finished with five hits in the game, with Andrea Biedenbender leading the way with two hits and a stolen base.

Marquardt took the loss, dropping her record to 10-7 on the season after allowing six runs (all earned) on eight hits in 4-plus innings of work. It was her first loss of the tournament after winning her first two starts against UMM on Friday and Saturday.

The Knights finished the season 21-15, breaking the school record for wins in a season (previous record was 18 set three different times). This was also the first time the team had reached the UMAC Tournament since 2008.

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