MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – The Maranatha softball team finished the NCU Tournament with a vengeance, starting with a 7-6 win over North Central, and finishing with 7-6 and 5-1 wins over Presentation and Martin Luther on Friday.
In game one, Maranatha and North Central each scored four runs apiece in the first inning. The Crusaders took the lead in a three run inning thanks to a single by left fielder Autumn Peotter (Waupaca, Wis.).
The Rams tried clawing their way back in the seventh inning, scoring one run, but came up a run shy. Freshman pitcher Jana Dempsey (Bath, Mich.) pitched seven innings for the win.
In game two, Presentation and Maranatha exchanged leads as Presentation held a 6-4 lead after the fourth inning.
Dempsey started the top of the fifth with her first collegiate home run and freshman Emily Thompson (Watertown, Wis.) scored the tying run.
It was pitcher Rachel Ryan (Nampa, Idaho) who put the Crusaders on top for good with a RBI single, scoring junior Susie Prusak (Leesburg, Va.).
Ryan pitched 6 innings and struck out five for her first win of the season.
Game three provided some highlights, as junior second baseman Kristin Morrison (Jefferson, Wis.) homered in the seventh inning while Prusak and Dempsey each went 3-4 from the plate and an RBI apiece.
Ryan pitched an excellent game, allowing eight hits, one earned run while striking out five for the win.
Maranatha will play Concordia Wisconsin on March 27 at 3:00 p.m. in Mequon, Wis.