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April 4, 2009

2009 Season - Softball teams falls twice in extra innings to 21st ranked Illinois Wesleyan

BLOOMINGTON, Illinois – In the opening weekend of the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin weekend the Vikings and Illinois Wesleyan hooked up for a pair of scintillating games in Bloomington on Saturday, April 4. The Titans prevailed, winning both ends of the double header by identical 3-2 scores. The defending CCIW champs took the first game in eight innings and the second one went an incredible 14 frames before a winner was decided.

Augustana is now 16-6 and 0-2 while Illinois Wesleyan, which is ranked 21st in the latest NCAA Division III poll, moves to 14-1 and 2-0. The Vikings got three tremendous pitching performances in the double defeat. Jackie Gill (Heyworth HS, Heyworth, Ill.) took the loss in the opener while Sheldon Ritzheimer (Trenton-Wesclin HS, Trenton, Ill.) and Erica Aten (Moline HS, Coal Valley, Ill.) each went seven innings in the 14 inning marathon nightcap.

GAME 1 – Illinois Wesleyan 3, Augustana 2 (8 innings)

Jackie Gill (Heyworth HS, Heyworth, Ill.) pitched a tremendous game but took the loss when the Titans pushed across the winning run in the bottom of the eight. Lisa Narotsky singled home Kris Lee, who had singled to lead off the inning to end the contest. After leading off with a single, Lee went to second on a bunt single by Natalie Chase. A fly ball to the outfield kept the runners at first and second but a ground out pushed them to second and third. Gill then intentionally walked leadoff batter Monica Urban and Narotsky delivered the game winner.

Augustana took a 1-0 in the top of the second on a home run off the bat of Melissa Nelson (West Aurora HS, Aurora, Ill.). In the top of fifth the Vikings scratched out a second run. Gill led off with a single but was out at second on a fielder’s choice by Missy Fobert (Rock Island Alleman HS, Rock Island, Ill.). Fobert went to second on a wild pitch and third on an infield single by Chrissy Rosin (Niles  West HS, Morton Grove, Ill.). Fobert scored on a passed ball to make it 2-0.

Wesleyan tied the game with two runs in the bottom of the sixth, helped out by a pair of Viking errors. Augustana committed an uncharacteristic four errors in the game.

Gill scattered nine hits and struck out four while walking just two as she fell to 7-4 on the season. Rosin, Brittany Snoreck (Carl Sandburg HS, Orland Park, Ill.) and Dawn Kernich (Mt. Olive HS, Mt. Olive, Ill.) all had three hits in the game.

GAME 2 – Illinois Wesleyan 3, Augustana 2 (14 innings)

The eight inning first game was just a warm-up for the 14 inning nail biter in the nightcap. The Titans, the visiting team in this one, strung three hits together in the top of the 14th off Augustana reliever Erica Aten (Moline HS, Coal Valley, Ill.) to score what proved to be the game-winner. Aten worked seven innings in relief of starter Sheldon Ritzheimer (Trenton-Wesclin HS, Trenton, Ill.). Aten gave up five hits with two strikeouts and two base-on-balls and fell to 2-1 on the year. Ritzheimer allowed six hits and two runs with five strikeouts through the first seven innings.

Wesleyan jumped ahead 2-0 in the top of sixth on four hits, including a home run off the bat of Val Hackett.

Augustana tied the game in the bottom of the frame when Karlee Quaritsch (Palatine HS, Palatine, Ill.) delivered a two run home run with two outs and Chrissy Rosin (Niles West HS, Morton Grove, Ill.) on base. Rosin had doubled with one out.

Rosin, Quaritsch and Brittany Snoreck (Carl Sandburg HS, Orland Park, Ill.) all had two hits in the game.