Central Arkansas Region:
CENTRAL ARKANSAS 6, STEPHEN F. AUSTIN 3
CONWAY, AR – Cylla Hill came up as a pinch-hitter with the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the seventh inning, and her grand slam propelled Central Arkansas into the lead and then past Stephen F. Austin on Thursday in an elimination game of their NISC regional.
Central Arkansas will play in another elimination game later Thursday. Sugar Bears pitcher Maddy Prough hit the first batter she faced in the bottom of the seventh but got a double play and then struck out Taylor Fraccastoro to close out the win. Prough had thrown only 30 innings this season before coming in during the fourth inning and eventually securing the win.
Ladyjacks pitchers Autumn Anderson and Callee Guffey had suppressed Central Arkansas, but reliever Makayla Sikes walked the first three batters of the seventh; that prompted the Ladyjacks to go back to Guffey. A sacrifice fly by Libby Morris drew UCA to within 3-2, and Hill (who entered the game hitting .168) came through with a long drive to left field.
Margarita Corona hit a run-scoring single in the third for the Ladyjacks, and Amber Landry’s two-run double pushed SFA (31-24) to a 3-0 lead after four innings. The Sugar Bears (28-26) got on the board in the top of the sixth inning, with Ryan McTaggart driving in pinch-runner Oakley Sizemore.
UT ARLINGTON 9, TEXAS TECH 4
CONWAY, AR - UT Arlington's offense jumped out on top in the first inning and remained on fire putting up ten hits in the 9-4 win over Texas Tech.
The Mavericks will move on to the Central Arkansas Regional semifinal game on Friday at Noon CT against the winner of the Texas Tech vs. Central Arkansas elimination game taking place tonight at 6 p.m. CT.
Seven out of nine UT Arlington batters had at least one hit in the game. Melanie Mendoza led her team with three RBI off a double in the fourth inning. The Mavericks scored seven runs that inning. Sandra Mendoza, Reagan Wright and Kjirstyn Murphy each had two hits in the game.
Texas Tech made a late run in the bottom of the sixth, but were only able to plate two more runs. Heaven Burton had three of her team's nine total hits, finishing the day 3 for 4 from the dish.
TEXAS TECH 9, CENTRAL ARKANSAS 0
CONWAY, AR - After a tough loss against UT Arlington earlier in the day, Texas Tech turned things around to shutout Central Arkansas 9-0 in five innings.
The win eliminated the Bears, but the Mavericks will have another shot against UT Arlington in the Central Arkansas Regional Championship on Friday at Noon CT where they will have to win twice.
Texas Tech let off some steam scoring two runs right off the bat in the first inning. The success continued into the second inning as they scored five more runs, two of which came from Karli Hamilton's home run.
The Mavs tacked on two more runs in the fourth to reach a dominating 9-0 lead and ultimately close out the game. Heaven Burton kept her NISC hit streak going strong with a 2-3 performance at the plate and pitcher Erin Edmoundson earned the shutout, allowing just two hits.
NEVADA 7, UTAH VALLEY 5
LAS VEGAS, NV – Nevada scored four runs in the third inning to take the lead against Utah Valley, then held on as the Wolverines rallied in the seventh to advance in the loser’s bracket at the UNLV regional.
The Wolf Pack (26-26) will take on Weber State later Thursday in an elimination game.
Nevada reliever Julia Jensen saw Utah Valley put runners on second and third with one out in the top of the fifth, but a groundout and flyout ended the threat. Offensively, Hansen, Warner and Burda each had two RBI for Nevada.
Utah Valley (21-31) got three hits and two runs from Skylar Cook, while Peyton Angulo and Lyndsay Steverson each drove in two runs. Both teams had eight hits and committed two errors.
NEVADA 7, WEBER STATE
LAS VEGAS, NV - Nevada eliminates Weber State in a close 7-5 battle at the Postseason NISC on Thursday afternoon.
Both teams remained scoreless until the top of the third inning when Nevada plated four runs by way of a three-run bomb from senior Erika Hansen. Weber State answered immediately in the bottom half of the inning and strung together multiple base hits to score four runs of their own to tie the game at 4-4.
An RBI single from Sadaria McAlister in the fourth and a two-run homer from Alyssa Mendez in the top of seven gave Nevada a promising 7-4 lead heading into the final frame. Weber State made one last push as Ashlyn Visser singled to score Takesha Saltern. Saltern was a perfect 3-3 at the plate in the outing.
Nevada was able to hold on to get the last few outs and move forward in the NISC. They will play Friday at Noon CT against the loser of UNLV vs. UC Riverside.
Eastern Kentucky Region:
TOWSON 3, AUSTIN PEAY 0
RICHMOND, KY – Megan Dejter dropped her season ERA below 2.00 with an impressive two-hit shutout of Austin Peay on Thursday, sending Towson into the winner’s bracket at the Eastern Kentucky NISC regional.
Dejter (23-7) walked two batters and struck out four. Towson (41-17) scored three times in the third inning, starting with Brook Miko’s double to bring in Madison Wilson. Shelby Stracher and Olivia Baltazar then followed with run scoring singles.
Austin Peay (39-18) nearly broke through in the bottom of the fifth inning, getting runners to second and third with one out. However, Dejter buckled down and struck out Kacy Acree and Natalie Schilling to end the frame; she also retired Emily Moore on a strikeout to defuse a scoring threat in the bottom of the sixth.
The Governors will play Eastern Kentucky or Toledo in an elimination game Friday.
EASTERN KENTUCKY 6, TOLEDO 3
RICHMOND, KY - Eastern Kentucky (40-18) earned its first victory of the Postseason NISC with a 6-3 win over Toledo (34-21).
EKU will move on to play Towson on Friday at 3 p.m. ET. Towson will face Austin Peay in an elimation game on Friday at Noon ET.
EKU started off hot, scoring three runs in the first inning and three more in the second inning to take a 6-2 lead. The Colonels totaled ten hits but weren't able to plate another run after their second inning spurt. After that, their solid pitching and defense kept them in control of the game. Murphy McRoberts was the winning pitcher while Peyton Hutchens earned the save.
Despite leaving eight runners on base, Toledo had a good offensive outing with the team combining for eight hits; Bailey Curry and Katie Cozy each had two.
Northern Colorado Region:
COLORADO STATE 3, NORTHERN COLORADO 1
GREELEY, CO – Colorado State responded with a purpose after being run-ruled on Wednesday, getting a sterling effort from pitcher Bridgette Hutton as the Rams slipped past Northern Colorado in their NISC regional elimination game Thursday.
Colorado State faces Loyola Marymount or South Dakota State in another elimination game set for Thursday.
Hutton (15-12) scattered four hits, walking four and striking out five. Haley Donaldson and Ashley Michelena each drove in a run for Colorado State (27-22), which took a 3-0 lead after two innings.
Kaley Garcia doubled to lead off the bottom of the sixth for the Bears (28-28) and moved to third on a groundout. After a strikeout, Hutton threw a wild pitch to score Garcia, but she came back to get a strikeout of Rachel Johnson to end the inning.
LOYOLA MARYMOUNT 8, SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 0
GREELEY, CO - Loyola Marymount defeated South Dakota State in five innings Thursday afternoon with a final score of 8-0.
Winning pitcher Hannah Bandimere dominated on the mound allowing just four hits in the game. LMU's offense scored five runs in the second inning; Maddison Flores was the star as she smacked a grand slam to give the Lions a 5-0 lead. The team tacked on two more runs in the fourth and another in the fifth to make it 8-0.
Julia Andersen had two hits for the Jackrabbits, one of those coming in the bottom of the fifth inning trying to keep her team alive.
The Lions will move on to the Northern Colorado Regional final game on Friday at 10 a.m. MT and the Jackrabbits will play Colorado State in an elimination game tonight at 6 p.m. MT.
SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 7, COLORADO STATE 3
GREELEY, CO - It was a close battle in the first few innings of the South Dakota State (36-17) verse Colorado State (27-23) Postseason NISC matchup. But it was South Dakota State that brought its bats down the stretch to win 7-3 and eliminate the Rams.
The Jackrabbits will move on to the NISC Northern Colorado Regional Championship game taking place on Friday at Noon MT against undefeated Loyola Marymount.
CSU held a 3-2 lead until the Jackrabbits caught fire in the fifth inning scoring five unanswered runs. Megan Rushing was clutch at the plate and led her team with two hits and two RBI.
Pitcher Taylor Compton entered the game in the middle of the second inning to relieve her teammate. Compton was an instant threat as she got her team out of the inning with three consecutive outs. Additionally, she threw a no-hitter and held the Rams scoreless through five and a half innings.
The Rams' great start was fueled by Lauren Buchanan's team-high two RBI and the middle bulk of their lineup; Gamboa, Navarro, Buchanan and McCorkhill each had a hit.