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Thursday, March 10, 2011 - page 4

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softball finishes trip on high note

If the purpose of the Spring Break trip to Florida was to get the Muhlenberg softball team ready for what the rest of the season will be like, the last day of the trip couldn't have done a much better job.

After waiting through rainstorms to find out when and if they
Alyssa Bruckner
Bruckner struck out four in her 19th career win.
would play, the Mules played on a muddy field in chilly, windy conditions that had fans huddled in the stands with blankets over their legs.

As with the games played in less-than-favorable conditions up North, a win took some of the sting out of the weather. Muhlenberg finished its trip with an 8-1 win against Lesley to return home with a 5-2 record. The other scheduled game, against Simmons, was cancelled.

Bouncing back from their first two losses of the season the previous day, the Mules played a solid game that featured the five-hit pitching of senior Alyssa Bruckner, no errors in the field, and big hits from freshman Jordan Schessler and senior Ashley Brewer.

"Everybody was really positive today. We wanted to finish on a good note, especially since we only had one game," said Bruckner. "We played a great game."

What helped make it great was a two-run opposite-field home run by Schessler for the first runs of the game in the bottom of the second. The third Muhlenberg freshman to hit a home run in Florida, Schessler was making just her second start and came in with only four at-bats on the season. The round-tripper was more evidence of the depth of talent the Mules have this year.

"Coach tells us none of our positions are guaranteed, so we all work so hard because we know someone can take your position," said Bruckner. "Everybody has the potential. As long as we play to our potential we'll have a great season."

Muhlenberg added five unearned runs in the fourth, taking advantage of four Lesley errors. Freshman Colleen O'Donnell drove in a run with a single,and Brewer capped the rally with a two-run triple, one of three hits she had in the game.

Bruckner allowed a run in the fifth but nothing else, allowing more than one baserunner in only one other inning and finishing the complete game with a 1-2-3 seventh.

The Mules' five wins in Florida were their most since the 2005 team went 6-3.

"For my last trip, it was fun," said Bruckner. "We learned what we have to work on for the season. It was a great prep for what's coming up."
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