Blue Tigers' Season Ends at MIAA Tournament
OVERLAND PARK, KS -- The Lincoln softball team took on Emporia State and Washburn in the MIAA Centennial Softball Championship Tournament on Thursday, dropping both games. The Blue Tigers fell to Emporia State, 11-0, and Washburn, 8-3, as Lincoln's 2012 campaign ended in the postseason.
Emporia State took advantage of five hits and one Lincoln error in the third inning of the first game of the evening, scoring eight runs, only three of which earned. The Hornets combined those scores with two runs in the first inning and one more in the fourth to end the contest early in five innings. Brianna Akers had the only hit of the game for LU, tallying a single in the top of the first.
In the second contest, it was a Washburn miscue that helped Lincoln score its first run of the evening. Lauren McMinn led off with a grounder straight back towards the Lady Blues' pitcher, who threw it to first base. The throw was off target, allowing McMinn to safely reach. She reached second and third on a groundout and a flyout, respectively, then scored on a base hit from Erin Sommerer, giving Lincoln an early 1-0 lead.
That advantage held through the first couple innings thanks to several good defensive plays by the Blue Tigers. In the bottom of the first, after the leadoff batter singled, Lincoln turned a double play. In the second inning, a nice throw by Akers in right field to the catcher stopped a runner at home plate.
In the fourth inning, however, Washburn took advantage of two Lincoln errors and four hits to take the lead, scoring four runs. The Lady Blues then hit a home run in the fifth inning, increasing their lead to 5-0.
Sommerer helped the Blue Tigers respond in the top of the sixth. Akers led off with a single up the middle. Sommerer then shot one out of the park, over the left field fence, cutting the Lady Blues' lead to 5-3. The momentum didn't last long, however, as, with two outs on the board, the Lady Blues added two more home runs, including one that brought in two runs.
Washburn held ann 11-8 lead in hits. Seven different Blue Tigers had hits in the game, including Sommerer, who led the team with two hits and all three RBI. Akers, McMinn, Megan Braun, Amanda Coffelt, Sam Kircher and Joey Bunch had the other hits.
The Blue Tigers end their season with a 15-36 overall record. This year's trip to the MIAA Softball Championship Tournament marked the first postseason visit for Lincoln since 2008, when the Blue Tigers played in the Heartland Conference tournament.