Lake Land softball has battled back from an early loss to force a one-game playoff today in the NJCAA Regional 24 tournament.

Tori Haug pitched another masterful game, allowing only one earned run across six innings, to help the No. 21 Lakers defeat John A. Logan College, 12-4, in a late afternoon game Monday in Belleville.

Bella Atkinson drove in three runs, Ashlyn Hicks and Deanna Reed each collected three hits, and Kaitlyn Scheitler and Hicks scored three times apiece in the 12-4 victory.

“The girls are in a pretty good mood,” Nelson said. “They know where they’re at.”

The Lakers, who had earlier lost 7-3 to John A Logan their second game of this double-elimination tourney, will again play against the Volunteers at 1 p.m today (Tuesday) to determine who goes to the national tournament in Yuma, Arizona, on May 24-28.

“We hit the ball well in that first game that we lost,” Lake Land coach Nic Nelson said. “We got people on base, but we could not get the timely hits. The girls started hitting the ball better (Monday).”

Lake Land had 13 hits in the second game against John A. Logan, and 27 across three games Monday.

But it was pitching that may have proven decisive.

Haug had another dominant performance against John A. Logan. The sophomore, who broke a finger midseason, has recovered well. Haug entered for 5 1/3 innings of relief in the opener Sunday, enabling the Lakers to re-set and, eventually, score eight runs in the final two innings to beat Olney, 10-9.

After Lake Land lost to the Volunteers, Haug returned to one-hit Lincoln Trail for an 8-0 victory that sent the Lakers into Monday’s late afternoon rematch with John A. Logan.

In three games, Haug has allowed three earned runs across 16 1/3 innings, striking out 10, walking six and scattering 13 hits. She threw a no-hitter in the regional clincher as well.

“The pitching has been stellar,” Nelson said.