Cornell goes 1-1 on first day of MWC Tourney
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Softball - Fri, May 5, 2017

DE PERE, Wis. – No. 2 seed Cornell went 1-1 during the opening day of the Midwest Conference Softball Tournament and will need to win three games Saturday to take home the title.

Haley Harmon (SO/Becker, Minn.) and the Rams (27-9) shut down Illinois College in the opening contest, 1-0. Cornell then gave top-seeded host St. Norbert all it wanted before falling 7-3 in eight innings in Friday's finale at Miron Construction Field.

Saturday's action starts at 10 a.m. with the Rams facing three-time defending MWC champion Lake Forest (22-15) in an elimination game. The winner plays St. Norbert (20-14) at noon and would have to beat the Green Knights twice to claim the championship.

Cornell charged back from a 3-0 deficit against St. Norbert in the pivotal winners' bracket contest. Jana Froehle (FR/Scottsdale, Ariz.) came through with a pinch-hit two-run triple in the fifth. The Rams tied it at 3-3 in the sixth on Melissa Griffin (SR/Oswego, Ill.)'s RBI double that ultimately forced extra innings.

The Green Knights broke through in the top of the eighth against Harmon (18-3), who logged all 15 innings Friday for Cornell. St. Norbert loaded the bases with one out, and scored them all with a double and help from a Ram error that made it 6-3. The home team added one more run before the damage was done.

The Rams outhit St. Norbert, 10-8, although twice hit into double plays and left seven runners on base. Cornell freshman Kat Edmond (FR/Skokie, Ill.) accounted for a pair of singles and finished with five hits for the day.

The Rams got their day started with an impressive three-hit shutout from Harmon over Illinois College, marking the team's first postseason victory since 2013. Harmon, who tied the school record for wins in a season, struck out four and walked three in notching her 13th complete game.

Cornell plated the game's only run on a two-out hit in the top of the second inning by Sarah Schimanski (JR/Shorewood, Ill.) that brought home Edmond. Schimanski stepped up in the absence of catcher Kendra Christensen (SR/Lakewood, Colo.), the program's all-time home runs leader who is sidelined for the tournament with an illness.  

Edmond, making just her fourth start of the season, finished 3-for-3 from the cleanup spot. The Rams totaled seven hits in the game.

Harmon had just one batter advance past first base until the seventh, when the Lady Blues (24-13) mounted a late threat with two runners in scoring position and only one out. Harmon struck out the next batter and then induced a game-ending fly ball to center field.

2017 MWC Softball Tournament
May 5-6, De Pere, Wis.
Friday's results
Game 1 – Cornell 1, Illinois College 0
Game 2 – St. Norbert 4, Lake Forest 3
Game 3 – Lake Forest 7, Illinois College 2 (IC eliminated)
Game 4 – St. Norbert 7, Cornell 3 (8 inn.)

Saturday's games
Game 5, 10 a.m. – Lake Forest vs. Cornell
Game 6, 12 p.m. – Championship Game: Winner Game 5 vs. St. Norbert
Game 7, 2 p.m. – Second Championship Game (if necessary)

Final - Softball1234567RHE
Illinois College (24-12)0000000030
Cornell College (27-8)010000X171
De Pere, Wis. Miron Const. Field
Illinois CollegePitchingCornell College
-Winner Haley Harmon
Mariah HedgesLoser-
Illinois CollegeIndv. StatsCornell College
NoneDoubles None
NoneTriples None
NoneHome Runs None
Final - Softball12345678RHE
St. Norbert College (20-14)00030004782
Cornell College (27-9)000021003102
De Pere, Wis. Miron Constr. Field
St. Norbert CollegePitchingCornell College
Sydney PfotenhauerWinner-
-Loser Haley Harmon
St. Norbert CollegeIndv. StatsCornell College
#10 Lexy CampshureDoubles #7 Melissa Griffin
2 Players (#4,#18)Triples #22 Jana Froehle
NoneHome Runs None