GEORGE WASHINGTON 2, APPALACHIAN STATE 1
LYNCHBURG, VA – Sierra Lange threw her second complete game of the 2019 NISC, topping Appalachian State in Friday’s elimination game.
The Colonials (44-17) will play Marshall or Rutgers later Friday in another elimination game.
Lange (31-13, 265 innings pitched for the season) allowed four hits and a walk to go with eight strikeouts. George Washington scored both of its runs in the first inning, thanks to an RBI single from Alessandra Ponce and a sacrifice fly from Elena Shelepak.
Appalachian State (31-25) got a terrific pitching performance from Kenzie Longanecker, who allowed just three hits. Keri White had two hits for the Mountaineers, whose run came in the third inning when Mary Barnes drove in White with a single.
LOYOLA MARYMOUNT 10, UC RIVERSIDE 0 (6)
RENO, NV – Loyola Marymount hit three home runs and got a shutdown performance from starting pitcher Hannah Bandimere, as the Lions topped UC Riverside in an elimination game.
The Lions (36-19) will play later Friday against Fresno State or Nevada.
Molly Grumbo led off the game with a home run for the Lions, and the lead was pushed to 3-0 in the fourth inning on a two-run single from Andrea Gonzalez. The frame yielded more fruit for LMU, as Grumbo knocked in two more runs with a single.
Delanie Wisz hit her third home run of the event, a two-run shot, in the sixth inning, and Megan Martin added a solo homer in the frame. Bandimere pitched five innings and allowed two hits.
UC Riverside ends its season at 26-27 overall.
STEPHEN F. AUSTIN 4, MIDDLE TENNESSEE 0
NACOGDOCHES, TX – Ashley Kriesel allowed three hits and struck out nine batters, and Stephen F. Austin scored four runs in the fourth inning to move past Middle Tennessee in an elimination game.
The game was scoreless through three innings, but the Ladyjacks (36-22) got a solo home run from Margarita Corona and a two-run shot from Brittany Crawford in the fourth, wrapped around a run by Mackenzie Bennett, who scored on an error.
SFA will play UT Arlington or McNeese State later on Friday.
The Blue Raiders (29-30) put two runners on with one out in the bottom of the frame, but Kriesel (14-6) got out of trouble with a popout to short and a strikeout. Claire Smith had two hits for Middle Tennessee.
MARSHALL 4, RUTGERS 0
LYNCHBURG, VA – Abigail Tolbert propelled Marshall though an elimination game against Rutgers, pitching a complete-game shutout.
The Herd (39-21) will play George Washington later Friday in another elimination game.
Marshall jumped ahead 3-0 in the first inning, with Sierra Huerta hitting a two-run homer. An insurance run came in the fourth inning on a double from Hayden Ellis, driving in Briana Daiss.
Tolbert (27-17, 248 innings pitched on the season) allowed four hits and three walks with six strikeouts.
Rutgers (29-25) got doubles from Katie Wingert and Aleah Marra.
EASTERN KENTUCKY 7, SOUTH DAKOTA 2
AMES, IA – Eastern Kentucky rode a big inning to get ahead of South Dakota in an elimination game, and starting pitcher Murphy McRoberts threw six solid innings for the Colonels.
EKU will face Purdue on Saturday in another elim game.
The Colonels (35-21) rumbled for five runs in the second inning; Hannah Clark drove in two with a single, and runs also came across on singles from Sammi Miller, Destinee Lizzmore and Zoe Mihalicz. McRoberts allowed five hits and struck out four batters, and Mollie Paulick pitched a perfect seventh inning.
South Dakota (33-28) got two hits and an RBI from Camille Fowler.
LIBERTY 4, KENT STATE 0
LYNCHBURG, VA – Julia DiMartino threw a three-hit shutout for Liberty to keep the Flames in control against Kent State.
The Flames (39-20), who won the inaugural 2017 NISC, will play Saturday with a chance to win the regional.
Alexis Erich drove in two runs with a two-out single in the first inning, and insurance runs came across in the sixth on a two-run homer from Madison Via. DiMartino (19-10) walked two and struck out five.
NEVADA 8, FRESNO STATE 3
RENO, NV – A grand slam off the bat of Sadaria McAlister pulled Nevada ahead of Fresno State in the fourth inning, and the Wolf Pack plated three more in the fifth to move past the Bulldogs.
Nevada (29-25) will play Saturday with a chance to earn the regional title. Kali Sargent threw a complete game, allowing five hits.
Haley Burda drove in a run in the second inning after Rachel Rodriguez doubled to give Nevada a 1-0 lead. Hayleigh Galvan tied it for Fresno State at 1-all with a single in the fourth, and Vanessa Hernandez doubled her in to make it 2-1.
McAlister’s blast cleared the left field fence, and the final RBI for the Wolf Pack came from Lauren Gutierrez and Sierra Mello. Hernandez drove in one more run for Fresno State (37-19).
UT ARLINGTON 5, MCNEESE STATE 3
NACOGDOCHES, TX – UT Arlington survived a breakdown on defense and came back to top McNeese State, giving the Mavericks a chance to play for the regional title on Saturday.
Laura Curry hit a two-run single to get UTA started, but the Mavericks (32-26) committed four errors in the second inning, allowing McNeese State (31-31) to move ahead, 3-2.
Reagan Wright pushed UT Arlington ahead 4-3 with a two-run single in the third, and KJ Murphy made it 5-3 on a fielder’s choice. Randi Phillips (16-13) got the win, and Allie Gardiner pitch 1 2/3 innings for her sixth save.
Toni Perrin had two hits for McNeese State.
IOWA STATE 7, SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 2
AMES, IA – Iowa State took the lead with a five-run rally in the top of the sixth inning, and starting pitcher Emma Hylen (17-9) worked around nine hits to post the win for the Cyclones.
Iowa State (34-23) will play Saturday for a chance to win the regional title.
Megan Rushing singled to center field to score Yanney Ponce, giving the Jackrabbits a 1-0 lead, and that moved to 2-0 after a third-inning solo home run by Ali Herdliska. Iowa State loaded the bases with no outs and got on the board in the fifth inning, on a fielder’s choice by Kaylee Bosworth, to make it 2-1.
Kasey Simpson knotted it up for the Cyclones at 2-all with a double in the sixth, and ISU grabbed the lead with a run-scoring single by Mikayla Ramos. The advantage grew to 5-2 thanks to a two-run double from Sami Williams, and an error by the Jackrabbits allowed a run across to make it 6-2.
Herdliska had three hits for the Jackrabbits (37-18), who will play Eastern Kentucky or Purdue on Saturday to stay alive in the loser’s bracket.
MCNEESE STATE 3, STEPHEN F. AUSTIN 1
NACOGDOCHES, TX – Caroline Settle excelled in the circle for McNeese State, taking down host Stephen F. Austin with a six-hit complete game.
The win puts the Cowgirls (32-31) in Saturday’s regional title game against UT Arlington; McNeese State will have to beat the Mavericks twice to with the championship.
Alexandria Salvidar came through with a two-run double to push the Cowgirls ahead, 3-0, in the top of the sixth inning. The Ladyjacks got on the board with a two-out double in the bottom of the sixth, as Bryana Novegil drove in Brittany Crawford.
Jordan Llinas pitched a strong game for Stephen F. Austin (36-23), striking out six in her six innings.
MARSHALL 3, GEORGE WASHINGTON 1
LYNCHBURG, VA – Hayden Ellis drilled a two-out, two-run homer off George Washington ace Sierra Lange in the sixth inning to send Marshall another step into the bracket.
Kailee Williamson (12-3) allowed just six hits as the Thundering Herd (41-21) pulled off the comeback.
George Washington went ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning, as a two-out bunt from Sidney Bloomfield brought in Criza Bulanadi. Blakely Burch doubled in Abigail Estrada to tie the game at 1-all in the top of the sixth, and Ellis followed with her home run.
LOYOLA MARYMOUNT 8, FRESNO STATE 5
RENO, NV – The 2018 NISC champions, Loyola Marymount, stayed in the fight for 2019 with a win over Fresno State.
The Lions (37-19) will face host Nevada for the title; LMU will have to beat the Wolf Pack twice to advance.
Irma Sanchez got the scoring started for Loyola Marymount in the third inning with a single that brought in Molly Grumbo, and Megan Dedrick followed with a three-run homer to make it 4-0.
Fresno State got back in the conversation with a bases-clearing double by Rachel Minogue, and the game was then tied at 4-all on a fielder’s choice RBI from Schuylar Broussard.
Loyola Marymount pulled ahead 5-4 on a single from Riley Ehlen with one out in the top of the fifth inning, then had another run across in the frame on a wild pitch.
Hayleigh Galvan smoked a solo home run in the fifth, drawing Fresno State within 6-5. Back-to-back errors in the top of the seventh allowed LMU to push the lead to 8-5.