Bloomington, Ill. - After dropping its opening game in the NCAA Division III Softball Regional on Friday, DePauw roared back with a pair of wins in the loser's bracket and will face Illinois Wesleyan tomorrow with a chance to win the regional title.
DePauw opened the day with a 2-0 win over Hanover before topping Washington-St. Louis, 5-2. The Tigers, seeded second in the regional, take on top-seeded Illinois Wesleyan tomorrow at Noon CDT and will need to beat the Titans in that game and in the "if necessary" game to advance to the Super Regional.
In the Hanover game, the Tigers loaded the bases in the first but couldn't score. In the second inning, however, Kathleen Byers led off with a walk and pinch-runner Sarah Beischer moved to second on Kat Panos' single. Gabby Smart loaded the bases with a bunt single before Sammi Bell's squeeze bunt brought home Beischer.
Hanover loaded the bases in the bottom of the second, but Ashlee Gibson struck out Lyndsea Burke to end the threat.
The Tigers added the other run in the sixth as Sidney Holler led off with a single and pinch-runner Andi Sarkisian moved to second on Byers' sacrifice bunt. Megan Montgomery followed with an infield hit, but and error on the play allowed Sarkisian to score and make it 2-0.
Liz Getz had two of DePauw's eight hits, while four different Panthers collected one each.
Gibson improved to 7-2 with the four-hit, complete game shutout. She struck out five and retired the final 16 batters she faced. Sydney Griffin dropped to 14-9. With the win, DePauw improved to 30-17 and advanced to face Washington University. Hanover's season came to a close at 20-20.
Bell led off the Tigers' elimination game with Washington with a walk before Liz Getz followed with a single and Linsey Button walked. Lauren Godden then hammered a homer to left center to give DePauw a 4-0 lead.
That lead reached 5-0 in the third as Godden led off with a double. Sarkisian entered as a pinch-runner and moved to third on Haleigh Chasteen's bunt single. Holler scored Sarkisian when she reached on a fielder's choice.
The Bears loaded the bases in the second, but couldn't score. In the third, they reached the board as Kenzie James walked and moved to second and third on grounders from Brooke Hofer and Hannah Mehrle, respectively. Janet Taylor reached on an error that permitted James to score.
Hera Tang led off the Washington fifth with a single and moved to second on Hofer's grounder. Mehrle's single plated Tang and cut the DePauw lead to 5-2.
Godden had three of DePauw's nine hits, while Getz and Chasteen each had two. Four different Bears picked up one hit apiece.
Gibson, who started and pitched four innings, improved to 8-2, while Emma Baldwin collected her fifth save after striking out five and allowing two hits in three innings. Maggie Clapp dropped to 10-6.
DePauw improved to 31-17, while the Bears finished at 35-12.