By Mike Monahan
Lake Land, the No. 13 team in the NJCAA Division I, was swept for the first time in Great Rivers Athletic Conference play Thursday, falling to Wabash Valley, 9-3 and 9-2. The Lakers remain in first place by two games over John A. Logan with a 19-3 record. Lake Land is 39-7 overall and will try for its 40th victory Sunday at Rend Lake in a GRAC doubleheader starting at noon.
The loss also snapped a four-game winning streak. It is the first time the Lakers have lost two in a row since losing three straight Feb. 26-27 (two to Chipola College and one to Gordon State Community College).
In the first game, Lake Land struck first with two runs in the first; however, Wabash Valley tied it in the second with two runs and took the lead for good with three runs in the third. The Warriors scored in all but two innings.
The other six Lake Land losses were by a total of seven runs and they had not lost by more than two until Thursday.
Rachel Kaufman was 1-for-2 with two runs batted in, while Kiara Cejkova-Kolaci hit a home run for the Lakers, who left eight runners on the bases.
Kaufman suffered the loss, going 4 2/3 innings and allowing four earned runs on three hits with four walks and eight strikeouts. She allowed eight runs overall.
In the second game, Wabash scored three runs to start the contest and never trailed.
Cejkova-Kolaci was 2-for-3 with a double and triple as she was 3-for-6 overall with all extra base hits. Carson Cole was 2-for-4 in the second game, which saw Lake Land make an uncharacteristic four errors.
Clarie Maulding suffered the loss as she threw four innings and allowed six hits and six runs, three of which were earned with two walks and three strikeouts.
Lake Land baseball falls to Danville Area Community College, 8-1
Lake Land fell behind 5-0 before scoring its lone run in the bottom of the sixth in an 8-1 loss to Danville. The Jaguars led 2-0 after one inning and added two runs in the second seventh and ninth (2 runs).
Mattoon graduate Jacob Spitz was 2-for-3, including a double while Oliver Dunn drove in the only run for LLC. The losing pitcher was Jackson Nichols, who threw five innings and allowed seven hits, five runs, only two earned with a walk and two strikeouts.
Lake Land dropped to 18-24, while DACC is 17-10. The teams play again at Lake Land on Saturday in a doubleheader starting at noon. The Lakers are 2-10 since April 8.