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Sports

Big bats boost Lady Cru over Lady Norsemen

NEWARK — It’s not a secret that the Marquette Lady Crusaders softball team possesses a ton of offensive firepower, but through four games the Lady Cru haven't really produced that huge breakout game at the plate.

That's until Wednesday afternoon at Newark.

There, Marquette pounded out 12 hits including three home runs and five doubles on the way to a 12-1, five-inning topping of the Lady Norsemen here at Newark High School.

No. 9 hitter Abbey Owens belted her second homer in as many games, and all-state seniors Allie Snook and Makena McConnaughhay each clubbed round-trippers while also ripping doubles to lead the offensive explosion that included an eight-run fifth inning.

Emily Owens and Makena Tkach each joined in the onslaught with two-hit efforts, while Tkach (3-2) was also masterful in the circle, allowing just one unearned run on two hits while walking a single batter and striking out five.

"Today we put on a very good display of our hitting," said Marquette coach Dave Tkach. "Abbey Owens hit her second career homer and she still leads our team in home runs, so maybe that got the other girls going this afternoon. Seriously though, this was an excellent all-around team effort by the girls today."

Newark (1-1) couldn't do much with Makena Tkach, touching her with a mere single by Becca Sweeney and a double from Riane Tomsa. Other than that, it was all about just trying to survive against the potent Marquette batting order.

"I'll give the credit to them because they're a great team that hit the ball very well, and their pitcher kept us off-balance all day," said first-year NHS coach Tim Schofield. "They hit everything we threw at them. They're just great hitters, and they showed it today."

Marquette (3-2) got to Newark starting and losing pitcher Sophie Schomer (6 ER, 12 H, 1 BB, 4 K) for two unearned runs in the top of the first after the Lady Norsemen committed three errors.

Emily Owens led off and reached second on a miscue. Makena Tkach then singled and Emily Owens scored after the ball was misplayed on the throw home. Makena Tkach eventually went to third on another error and scored on Aubrey McCallum's RBI groundout that made the score 2-0 after half a frame.

Abbey Owens followed in the top of the second with a one-out solo homer to left that made the score 3-0. It was her second homer in as many at-bats dating back to Marquette's last game versus Streator where she belted a two-run blast in her final plate appearance.

"I was just trying to get the ball in play, and the second pitch was right down the middle so I decided that I was going to take it," Abbey Owens said. "It feels real good to have two homers in two straight games."

The Lady Norsemen added their only run in the bottom of the frame after Becca Sweeney led off with a walk, eventually got to third on an error and scored on a sacrifice fly from Tomsa to cut the gap to 3-1.

McConnaughhay made it 4-1 with a solo bomb to left in the top of the third.

"On my previous at-bat I thought I had one, but it pulled foul," McConnaughhay said. "Then I got a hold of a second pitch on my next time up and I got it all. It felt real good."

In the top of the fifth the floodgates opened for the Lady Cru. Snook led off with a blistering line-drive double to center and eventually scored on Ellen Wheatland's two-run double to right. Wheatland then plated after an Emma Thomas two-bagger to left. Five more runs would follow, four of which were unearned after two more Newark errors, with the crowning blow coming after Snook's monstrous two-run homer to right that ended the day's scoring.

"After I struck out on my first at-bat today, I knew I just had to relax," Snook said. "Then I got a couple of nice pitches to hit and was able to get a double and a home run in one inning. So it ended up being a pretty good day for all of us."

At Newark

Marquette 12, Newark 1 (5 inn.)

(Key: AB-R-H-RBI)

MARQUETTE (12) — E. Owens c 4-2-2-0, Tkach p 4-2-2-0, Snook 1b 4-1-2-2, A. Thomas pr 0-1-0-0, McCallum lf 3-0-0-1, Machetta ph 1-0-0-0, McConnaughhay 3b 2-2-2-1, Wheatland ss 2-1-1-2, Martini dp 2-0-0-0, E. Thomas cf 1-1-1-1, Cowie 2b 3-1-1-0, A. Owens rf 3-1-1-1, Bowden rf 0-0-0-0. Totals 29-12-12-8.

NEWARK (1) — A. Schofield ss 2-0-0-0, Mitchell 3b 2-0-0-0, N. Sweeney 2b 2-0-0-0, B. Sweeney 1b 1-1-1-0, Schomer p 2-0-0-0, Kala cf 2-0-0-0, Tomsa rf 1-0-1-1, E. Schofield c 1-0-0-0, L. Long ph 1-0-0-0, Chavoen lf 1-0-0-0, Adams ph 1-0-0-0. Totals 16-1-2-1.

Marquette (3-2) 2 1 1 0 8 — 12 12 1

Newark (1-1) 0 1 0 0 0 — 1 2 5

LOB – Marquette 4; Newark 2. 2B – Tkach, Snook, McConnaughhay, Wheatland, E. Thomas, Tomsa. HR – A. Owens, McConnaughhay, Snook. SB – E. Owens, McConnaughhay, Cowie, E. Thomas, B. Sweeney, Kala. CS – Kala. SF – Tomsa. HBP – McConnaughhay (by Schomer).

Marquette ip r er h bb k

Tkach (W, 3-2) 5.0 1 0 2 1 5

Newark

Schomer (L, 1-1) 5.0 12 6 12 1 4

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