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May 9, 2010

2010 Season - Vikings fall to IWU at the CCIW tournament

Karlee Quaritsch's school-record 30th career homer wasn't enough to save Augustana. The Vikings fell to Illinois Wesleyan, 7-4 and 3-2 at the CCIW tournament.

KENOSHA, Wis.—Illinois Wesleyan won three games Sunday, including the final two over Augustana, to win the championship of the CCIW softball tournament. The Vikings started the day needing just one win to claim the title, but dropped a heartbreaking pair of games to the Titans. IWU got a must-win 7-4 victory in the first game and came back to win the second by a score of 3-2. Augustana drops to 30-13 on the season.

Game One—Illinois Wesleyan 7, Augustana 4

The Titans got four runs in the second and three in the third to take a 7-0 lead against Viking starter Sheldon Ritzheimer (Wesclin HS, Trenton, Ill.). Allison Ward’s three-run double to right center was the big blow in the second. Jaci Forsythe had two-run double and Christy Engel and RBI single in the third. Just three of the seven runs allowed by Ritzheimer were earned.

The game stayed 7-0 until the bottom of the fourth. Karlee Quaritsch (Palatine HS, Palatine, Ill.) reached on an error to lead off the inning. Melissa Nelson (West Aurora HS, Aurora, Ill.) and Stephanie Sarb (Lisle HS, Lisle, Ill.) followed with singles to load the bases and the Vikings got on board when Engel hit Dawn Kernich (Mt. Olive HS, Mt. Olive, Ill.) with a pitch, forcing in Quaritsch. After Nelson was cut down at the plate on an infield grounder, Andi Walker (Plainfield South HS, Plainfield, Ill.) drove in a run with a single and another came home on a bases-loaded walk to Missy Fobert (Alleman HS, Rock Island, Ill).

Quaritsch drew the Vikings within 7-4 with a solo homer—her 10th of the season and school-record 30th of her career—off Titan reliever Alyssa Vorel in the fifth. However, Vorel allowed just two hits the rest of the way and secured the victory for the Titans. She went 3 1/3 innings to pick up her sixth win against two losses. Ritzheimer fell to 12-5 with the loss.

Game Two—Illinois Wesleyan 3, Augustana 2

Augustana’s Erica Aten (Moline HS, Coal Valley, Ill.) and Vorel squared off in game two and the Vikings took a 2-0 lead with a pair of solo homers. Walker connected on a blast to center in the top of the third and Sarb hit her 10th round-tripper of the year—a shot down the left field line—in the fourth.

The Titans tied it off Aten in the bottom of the fourth on a Forsythe two-out, two-run single to center. Vorel’s double to left center off Kelli Humbert (Dwight HS, Dwight, Ill.) in the fifth scored Stephanie Polich with the go-ahead run.

Reversing their roles from the first game, Engel came on to relieve Vorel and held the Vikings scoreless over the final three innings to lock up the victory.

Humbert fell to 1-2 with the loss. Engel was credited with the win, her 11th of the season against nine losses. With the win the Titans earn the CCIW’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.