Regional Round Championship Recaps
PURDUE 3, EASTERN KENTUCKY 1
AMES, IA – Fresh off a days rest, Purdue moved past Eastern Kentucky, 3-1, to move on in the 2019 Postseason NISC.
Purdue (33-28) will play South Dakota State in the next round of the Iowa State Regional on Saturday, May 18 at 11:30 a.m. CT.
Mallory Baker recorded all three of the Boilermaker’s RBI, launching a solo shot in the first inning and an RBI double in the fifth with the bases loaded.
Eastern Kentucky’s Zoe Mihalicz hammered an RBI double in bottom of the fourth for the Colonel’s only run.
Maddie Damon, Kaitlynn Moody and Sydney Bates all combined for the winning effort in the circle.
MARSHALL 4, KENT STATE 2
LYNCHBURG, VA – Marshall dropped its opening game of the 2019 Postseason NISC against George Washington. Since Thursday, the Herd have rallied for three straight victories, including a 4-2 win over Kent State, earning the right to play Liberty for the Regional Championship.
Mya Stevenson was nearly unstoppable, launching a three-run home run in the first inning to give Marshall the early lead, 3-0, and delivering a solo shot in the third, extending the advantage, 4-1.
The Thundering Herd (42-21), will play Liberty for the Regional Championship Saturday at 1 p.m. ET. Marshall will need to beat the Flames twice to move to the Championship Round.
Jen Cader notched an RBI single in the third and Hunter Brancifort homered in the sixth inning for Kent State.
Abigail Tolbert (28-17) threw seven complete innings, struck out three in her win for Marshall.
LIBERTY 7, MARSHALL 0
LYNCHBURG, VA – For the second time in three years the Liberty Flames are headed to the Postseason NISC championship round after defeating Marshall 7-0 on a warm, sunny day in Lynchburg, Va., at Kamphuis Field at Liberty Softball Stadium.
Liberty will now travel to Fort Collins, Colo., to play in the four-team championship round at the newly-renovated TC Colorado Field on May 24-27.
Liberty recorded 10 hits an no errors in the victory and moves to 40-20 on the season. Marshall’s season ends with a 42-22 record.
A sac bunt by senior Sarah Robertson would score Autumn Bishop and give the Flames an early 1-0 lead after the first inning.
Bishop would single to right scoring Madison Via and Jasmeen Click would add another run on a throwing error to increase the Liberty lead to 3-0 in the fourth.
The Flames would score four runs in the fifth to give Liberty a 7-0 lead over The Herd. Beginning with a sac fly from Kaitlin McFarland knocking in Robertson and an RBI single from Denay Griffin scoring Emily Kirby. A pop-up blooper would drop for Via scoring Griffin and Autumn Bishop would drill a line drive off the top of the glove of the Marshall first baseman as Via crossed home.
It was a terrific outing for Liberty senior pitcher Chase Cassady who threw seven innings recording four strikeouts, three hits and no runs.
The Liberty Flames are looking to be the first two-time champion since the Postseason NISC was revived by Triple Crown Sports in 2017.
PURDUE 4, SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 1
AMES, IA – Determined not to bow out of the NISC just yet, won its second consecutive game on Saturday, moving past South Dakota State, 4-1, to earn a spot in the Regional Championship.
Mallory Baker continued her hot day at the plate. The senior broke open the scoring with an RBI double in the third inning. Two batters later, Jenny Behan followed up Baker’s effort with an RBI of her own to give the Boilermakers an early 3-0 lead.
Sydney Bates returned to the circle after pitching earlier in the morning to give Purdue five full innings. The Florida native struck out seven and gave up just one hit before turning the keys over to Maddie Damon.
South Dakota State (37-19) threatened with the bases loaded in the sixth inning. Sydney Bates returned to action, forcing Lyndsey Crist to strike out swinging.
Baker returned to the plate in the sixth to give the Boilermakers some insurance, knocking in Halle Hixenbaugh to extend the lead, 4-0.
Mallory McQuistan managed an RBI single with the bases loaded in the final frame for the Jack Rabbits.
Purdue (34-28) will face Iowa State for the Regional Championship at 2 p.m. CT.
UT ARLINGTON 4, MCNEESE STATE 3 (10)
NACOGDOCHES, TX – Despite dropping the first game of the Regional Championship,6-1, UT Arlington crawled all the way back from a 3-0 deficit to win, 4-3, in 10 innings over McNeese State and advance to the NISC Championship Round.
The Mavericks will travel to TC Colorado Field in Fort Collins, Colorado for the Championship Round. Action begins on Friday, May 24.
In game one, UT Arlington threatened early with bases loaded in the top of the 3rd inning. Alexsandra Flores wiggled her way out of the jam and left the Mavericks blanked on the scoreboard.
Flores relied heavily on her defense, forcing 11 ground outs and nine fly outs in the opening contest.
Justyce McClain’s RBI single broke the deadlock in the bottom end of the 3rd. The Cowgirls exploded for four more runs on a hits from Aubree Turbeville and Demi Boudreaux, and sacrifices from Cory McCrary and Kaylee Lopez.
Whitney Walton’s sacrifice gave UT Arlington a run in the fifth inning. Demi Boudreaux added a sixth insurance run in the sixth for McNeeese State (33-32).
Thirty minutes later, the two schools were back on the diamond for the decisive matchup
Both teams were in their respective grooves until the third inning. Kaylee Lopez, Aubree Turbeville and Toni Perrin each recorded a hit in the frame and vaulted McNeese State to a 3-0 advantage.
UT Arlington (33-27) were not about to go down quietly, however, Shelbi Court struck in the fifth inning with an RBI single to get the Mavericks on the board. In sixth, Laura Curry delivered a clutch two-RBI double to tie the game at three.
Neither side could muster a run as the game stretched well into extra innings. With two outs and two on, Aileen Garcia swung on the first pitch she saw, sending the ball to centerfield and bringing Krista Rude home for the game-winning run.
It’ll be the second straight year UT Arlington will play in the NISC Championship Round.
IOWA STATE 5, PURDUE 3
AMES, IA – Talyn Lewis and Sydney Stites powers Iowa State to 5-3 win over Purdue as the Cyclones capture the regional championship and advance to Colorado for the final round of the Postseason NISC.
The Cyclones finished the five-team region 3-0 and defeated Purdue twice during the three-day round hosted by Iowa State in Ames, IA.
The Cyclones started the scoring in the first with an RBI double by Lewis scoring Sami Williams.
After a scoreless second, Purdue’s Lexi Huffman would blast a two-run bomb to give the Boilermakers a 2-1 lead. However, Iowa State’s Stites would respond with a two-run jack of her own to regain a 3-2 lead for the Cyclones in the bottom of the third.
Lewis would record her second double of the game scoring Kaylee Bosworth and Williams to move the Iowa State lead to 5-2 in the bottom of the fourth.
Solid pitching and stout defense for Iowa State held the Boilermakers hitless and scoreless in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. A solo homer with two outs in the seventh by Purdue’s Rachel Becker would give the Boilermakers hope of a possible comeback but a pop up from the next batter would end the game.
Iowa State joins UT Arlington, Liberty and the Nevada/LMU winner in the championship round slated for May 24-26 at TC Colorado Field in Fort Collins, Colo.
LOYOLA MARYMOUNT 11, NEVADA 6
RENO, NV – Loyola Marymount lost to Nevada in the opening game of the Regional on Thursday. Saturday afternoon was a different story as the Lions clipped the Wolfpack twice, advancing to the NISC Championship Round.
LMU will head to TC Colorado Field in Fort Collins, Colorado. Championship play will begin on Friday, May 24.
Home runs powered the Lions to victory in the opening Regional Championship Contest. Molly Grumbo launched a solo shot in the third inning to give the Lions the momentary lead. With the game tied in the final frame, Maddison Flores came through in the clutch with a two-run shot to force a decisive game against Nevada.
Sierra Mello Contributed an RBI double in the third inning, while Kenzi Goins homered in the fourth for the Wolfpack.
Nevada’s Kendall Fritz walked only one and struck out three in the circle. For LMU, the combined effort of Hannah Bandimere and Samantha Manti were enough to force an extra contest.
Ashley Salausa made sure the Wolfpack were off to a hot start in final game. Salausa and Gutierrez combined for two RBI, giving Nevada the lead, 2-0.
Loyola Marymount would respond, though, scoring four runs in the fourth inning on four hits, including a Desiree Moreno home run, vaulting the Lions on top, 5-2.
Rachel Rodriguez and the Wolfpack would go back to work at the plate in the bottom half of the frame. Rodriguez jump-started the inning with a home run, Kenzi Goins continued the scoring with a two-RBI single and Dallas Millwood made the comeback complete with her RBI single. Suddenly, Nevada had clawed its way back to the lead, 6-5.
Making a habit out of solo home runs, Molly Grumbo tallied another in the fifth inning, followed quickly by RBI from Irma Sanchez and Riley Ehlen as the lead shifted back to Loyola Marymount, 8-6.
An error in the sixth inning and a pair of hits in the seventh gave LMU three more insurance runs to seal the victory and the Regional Championship, 11-6.