Finlandia run comes to an end

WHITEWATER, Wis. – Bryanna Heckel of Carthage provided more than enough pop herself to end Finlandia’s softball season Friday.

The Carthage College leadoff hitter was 4-for-4 with three home runs and five RBIs as the Lady Reds bounced the Lions 10-2 from an elimination game at the NCAA Tournament in five innings.

Heckel led off the game with a homer to centerfield. Carthage added a sacrifice fly for a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning.

A Kristen Rose RBI groundout helped the Lions pull back an unearned run in the home half of the first.

Carthage added one in the second, but Finlandia counteracted it with a Kari Jewett homer in the third.

That made it 3-2 after three innings, but Heckel clubbed a two-run homer in the fourth and Carthage tacked on three more runs in the inning.

Heckel’s second two-run shot in as many at-bats in the fifth put the run-differential rule into play, and though the Lions put together a pair of two-out singles, they could not get the run over necessary to continue the game.

Miranda Brewer took the pitching loss, going 2 1/3 innings and allowing five earned runs on six hits. She walked two.

Alyson Herman allowed four earned runs on four hits in relief.

Offensively, Jewett went 3-for-3 to collect all but two of Finlandia’s five hits. The Lions finish 25-8 after the first NCAA Tournament trip in school history.