Springfield, Ohio - Sidney Holler's single in the bottom of the seventh scored Kaylyn Linder from second and gave third-seed DePauw a 5-4 win over second-seed Denison and the North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament title. With the win, DePauw improved to 23-20 and finished 3-0 at the tournament, marking the first time since 2009 that a team went undefeated through the NCAC double-elimination bracket. Denison finished its season at 26-10.
The Tigers will compete in the NCAA Division III Championship for the 10th time in the last 12 years and extend their streak to five straight years of appearances. The bracket will be released at 1 p.m. on Monday, May 7, on NCAA.com.
Denison took a 2-0 lead with single runs in the first and second innings. Emilie Fisher led off the game with a double, moved to third on Sarah Herold's grounder and scored on Lauren Secaras' sacrifice fly. Laura Bagan's leadoff homer in the second pushed the lead to 2-0.
The score stayed that way until the fourth when Holler led off with a single and moved to second on an error. Pinch-runner Mina Shaw moved to third when Sarah Beischer reached on a bunt single. Megan Montgomery followed with a bunt single that plated Shaw. Abey Bass' bunt single loaded the bases before Bekka Roberts cleared the bases with a single.
Denison tied the game in the top of the seventh as Fisher led off with a single. She was forced at second when Secaras reached on a fielder's choice. Amanda Howell singled Secaras to third before Bagan delivered a two-out, two-run double.
Linder reached on a one-out error in the bottom of the frame before Lauren Godden singled and Holler delivered the game-winning hit.
Holler, Alyssa Nowak, Montgomery and Bass each had two of DePauw's 10 hits, while Lindsey Clemson had three of Denison's nine with Fisher and Bagan adding two apiece.
Emma Baldwin, the tournament MVP, improved to 10-8, while Colleen Hoffman dropped to 9-4.
The win for Baldwin marked the third time in her four years that she won the title-clinching game over Denison as she finished with a 7-1 career record in NCAC Tournament games with a 1.18 ERA. She also was the 2015 tourney MVP.