|Date:||April 26, 2017|
Luther clinched at least a share of the 2017 Iowa Conference championship this afternoon, sweeping Wartburg College 10-1 (6) and 3-2. The league title is the tenth in school history, third in a row, and sixth for Head Coach Renae Hartl.
In game one, Luther scored in every inning except the first. The Norse tallied 11 hits and posted three runs in both the third and sixth frames, two in the fourth and one in both the second and fifth innings.
Blake Banowetz led the attack going 4-for-4, scoring twice and driving in two runs. Sammie Harris also had a perfect game at the plate with a 3-for-3 performance, scoring once and also had one RBI. Ashley Burrows lone hit of the game, was a walk-off three-run shot over the left-center field fence, her second home run of the year.
Samantha Bratland went the distance in the circle picking up her 18th win against two losses. Bratland allowed one run on four hits, walked five and struck out four.
The top of the order combined for eight of Luther's nine hits in the nightcap. Burrows was 3-for-4, Sara Nelson was 2-for-4 and Anna Strien went 3-for-4. Strien, who had two RBI, drove in what proved to be the game winning run with a single to right field in the fourth that scored Nelson. The Norse entered the fourth trailing 2-1 and put two on the board.
Annie Versnik (17-1) was credited with the win. Versnik allowed two runs on four hits, walked three and struck out one in four innings of work. Amanda Witzlib was credited with the save. Witzlib pitched the final three innings, faced 10 batters, allowed three hits and struckout two.
No. 4 Luther has now won 13 in a row and is 35-3. Wartburg fell to 8-6 in the IIAC, 21-14 overall. Today's sweep also means that Luther will host the single elimination Iowa Conference Tournament, Friday and Saturday, May 5-6.
Luther wraps up the regular season schedule at home this Saturday, April 29, when it hosts Simpson College. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.
Contact: David Blanchard, 563-387-1586