MILWAUKEE – The Concordia University Wisconsin softball team saw its 2012 season come to a close on Saturday afternoon when the Falcons were eliminated from the Northern Athletics Conference Tournament following back-to-back losses to Aurora University and Lakeland College at the Alverno Athletics Fields.
The Falcons, who entered the tournament as the third seed, fell 6-3 against second seeded Aurora before suffering a 7-4 defeat at the hands of 5th seeded Lakeland.
CUW finishes the season with a 25-16 overall record, along with a 19-5 mark in NAC play.
After defeating Dominican University by a 4-2 score on Friday evening, the Falcons earned the right to play Aurora, the only NAC team that had swept a doubleheader against CUW during the regular season.
Things didn't start very smoothly for Concordia, as two Falcon errors helped the Spartans plate four runs in the second inning to take a commanding 4-0 lead.
CUW tried to dig its way out of the early four-run deficit, but every time the Falcons chipped away at the Spartans' lead, Aurora had an answer.
In the top of the third inning, freshman Jessica Liszka (Lindenhurst, Ill.) got a run back for Concordia when she delivered with a two-out RBI single to score senior Chelsie Strosina (Burlington, Wis.); but the Spartans regained the four-run advantage in the bottom half of the third when Jackie Soch lined a triple into right field and scored on the throw.
Later, in the fifth inning, the Falcons cut the Aurora lead to 5-2 when junior Janelle Schroder (Colgate, Wis.) scored on a wild pitch, but the Spartans again answered right back with an RBI double in the bottom of the fifth. Five of Aurora's six runs were unearned.
The loss meant that CUW would only have a half hour or so to catch their breath before taking the field against Lakeland, who had lost to Marian University on Friday.
This time, it was the Falcons who struck first, as sophomore Mariah Giesseman (Sturgeon Bay, Wis.) contributed an RBI single before junior Abbie Goetsch (Grayslake, Ill.) scored on a wild pitch to give CUW a 2-0 lead after one inning of play.
Lakeland would answer, however, scoring in each of the next three innings to turn the tables on CUW and take a 4-2 lead of their own.
The Falcons came back to tie the score at 4-4 heading into the seventh inning, thanks to RBI's from junior Holly Zinnecker (Roscoe, Ill.) and senior Sheri Weidner (Mount Prospect, Ill.), but things quickly fell apart for CUW in the final inning of play, as the Muskies sent all nine batters to plate to score three runs and seal the victory.