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Courtesy: WMU

Broncos Take Consolation Game with 8-6 Win Over Loyola

Courtesy: Mat Kanan, director of athletic media relations
Release: 03/16/2013
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URBANA, Ill. - Western Michigan softball exploded for eight runs on nine hits to defeat Loyola-Chicago, 8-6, and win the Consolation Game of the Fighting Illini Invitational.

Today's game against the Ramblers was deemed the consolation game of the tournament due to the remainder of the event being canceled because of extremely cold playing conditions.  Illinois and St. Louis played for the championship.

The Broncos scored two more runs in each of the first three innings, breaking out for four runs in the bottom of the third.

WMU began the scoring in the first.  Melissa Palmer, who hit .417 for the tournament after going 3-for-4 today, led off the inning with a single back to the pitcher.  She advanced to second on Christina Pigozzi's sacrifice bunt.  Sabrina Gamboa, who led the Broncos by hitting .500 (5-for-10) this weekend, hit her seventh double of the season to plate Palmer.  Diana Patterson had one of her two hits on the day to score Gamboa.

Melissa Palmer - Post-Game

After Loyola got on the board with a home run in the second inning, one of three on the day tying the most by an opponent in 2013, the Broncos added two more in the home half of the inning.  Palmer ripped a double to right field to score Marleen Rodriguez.  Pigozzi reached on a fielder's choice allowing Palmer to score, sliding around the tag.

WMU loaded the bases in the third as Patterson singled to right field, Mackenzie Shepeck doubled to left center and Jenny Rohn reached on an error.  Rodriguez drew a one-out walk to score the first run.  Palmer singled through the right side for another.  Pigozzi collected a base hit to left field for a third run and Gamboa was hit by a pitch for the fourth tally of the inning.

That would be enough as Colleen Lynch came into the circle in relief of Shepeck after two innings.  Lynch, in her fourth appearance of the season, did not allow a run until the top of the seventh when the Ramblers hit their last home run, a three-run job to pull within two runs.  It was the first runs Lynch has given up all season.

Loyola brought the tying run to the plate when Allyson Kus came into the game, allowing a one-out walk.  The runner advanced to third on a wild pitch and a ground out but the final out was secured by Lauren Nagy, unassisted, at first base.

The win avenged a 6-3 loss to the Ramblers on March 9.  Western Michigan is scheduled to open its home season on Tuesday against IPFW at 2 p.m.