Duhawks win their first IIAC Tournament game in program history
Mon, May. 9, 2011 - [Softball]

The Loras College Duhawks made their third appearance in Iowa Conference Tournament this past weekend in Decorah, Iowa. The Duhawks faced fourth-seeded Simpson Thursday. In the regular season, Simpson swept the Duhawks, and they were seeking to avenge the earlier losses with their first IIAC Tournament win in program history.

Game 1, Loras 4 - Simpson 2

The first game of the Iowa Conference Tournament was a close one for the Loras College softball team. The Duhawks seniors stepped up with Kelsey Techlin going 3-for-4, Tracy Sullivan 1-for-3, and Sara Palczynski 2-for-3 to lead the way.

The big hit of the game came from Sullivan with a two out, 2-run homerun in the top of the third to put the Duhawks on the board first. The Storm had chances to score in the bottom of the third, but the Duhawks got out of a bases loaded jam to keep the momentum on their side.

With another two-out rally, they Duhawks put another run on the board with trio of singles by Shelby Perkins, Beth Miller, and an RBI single for Techlin to extend their lead 3-0. 

In the bottom of the fifth, the Simpson College Storm scored via three base hits, and made the score 3-2. The Duhawks would get one of the two runs back with a sacrifice fly by Kellie Klein, scoring Techlin, in the top of the seventh.

They Duhawks pulled out their first Iowa Conference Tournament victory after stranding two Storm runners in the bottom of the seventh to advance to play the top seeded Luther Norse later in the day.

Game 2, Luther 7 - Loras 0

The Duhawks advanced to face top-seeded Luther on their home field as a result of the win over Simpson. 

The Duhawks couldn't carry over their offense against the Norse, as the hosts out-hit the Duhawks 9-2. The Norse came out strong and hit their way to a win (and eventually winning the Iowa Conference Tournament title), scoring at least one run in four of the first five innings. 

As for the Duhawks, they played error free defense, and just couldn't get their bats going. Tracy Sullivan (single) and Sara Palczynski (double) registered the two hits for Loras.

Game 3, Cornell 8 - Loras 1

With the Cornell Rams out hitting the Duhawks, 10-2, Loras couldn't get anything rolling in the scoring column. They tied it up in the second inning courtesy of a Kellie Klein single, and had a chance to score more with the bases loaded, but again couldn't manage the elusive big hit.

The Duhawks gave up five unearned runs with the help of three costly errors, two of which came in the critical top of the third inning for Cornell, helping the Rams to advance. They would score four more times in the top of the sixth to put the game out of reach, as the Duhawks concluded their 2011 season.

The Duhawks finished over all 17-23, and 7-9 in the Conference and had their first win in the Iowa Conference Tournament and they couldn't have done any of that without all of the seniors; Tracy Sullivan, Sara Palczynski, Ashley Reimer, Michelle Sabatini, Kelsey Techlin, and Deanna Angelini. They have contributed much to the program, and will be difficult to replace.