May 12, 2006
Northwest Missouri State Softball Continues Regional Play with 11-5 Victory Over Washburn
EMPORIA, Kan. - After getting no-hit yesterday, the Northwest Missouri State softball team did the opposite today in the 11-5 victory over No. 23 Washburn in the second round of the North Central Region Championships from Turnbull Field. Northwest pounded out 15 hits, including five extra-base hits, to eliminate the Lady Blues from regional play.
Northwest, who betters its record to 40-14, will face No. 3 seed Nebraska-Omaha tomorrow (Saturday) at 10 a.m. UNO was sent to the loser's bracket after dropping a 2-0 decision to Augustana (S.D.) today. Washburn ends its season at 36-21 overall.
The Bearcats got into an early hole as Washburn plated four runs in the top-half of the first inning. Brooke DeVader's three-run homer was the big blow. The Bearcats tied the score with two in each the first and second innings. Two of the runs came via the bat of junior Janelle Krohn and her eighth season homer.
"It was really good that, after we dug ourselves a 4-0 hole in the first, we were able to come back with two right away," said head coach Susan Anderson, the MIAA's Co-Coach of the Year. "Our mentality after that was we were still in the game."
Trailing 5-4 in the home-half of the fifth frame, Northwest catcher Sarah Johnson sacrificed Ashley Pride and Krohn over to scoring position. After a sacrifice fly from sophomore Crystal Gustin, freshman Megan Simpson drove one over the right field fence for her seventh home run of the year. It was Simpson's first roundtripper since March 22 against Southern New Hampshire.
"Simpson has come on strong since the MIAA Tournament," said Anderson. "She is seeing the ball well and driving it."
Northwest, the No. 4 seed in the region, pushed across four more in the sixth inning on four hits. Gustin's RBI double preceded a single from Simpson, which drove in two runners, and Northwest led 11-5 heading to the seventh inning. Krohn had an RBI-groundout for the fourth run.
The eighth-seed Lady Blues loaded the bases in the seventh but Northwest smothered a rally on a double-play and Northwest improved to 2-5 in regional play all-time.
MIAA Freshman of the Year Cola Krueger bounced back from the loss yesterday to gain the win today. She went five innings as she allowed five runs, all earned, on nine hits. She struck out three and walked one. Junior Talina Canon pitched the seventh inning on the mound.
"After the first inning, Cola finally settled in and got back in her groove," said Anderson. "Our defense did a nice job behind her as well."
WU's Kelly Swygert went five innings to fall to 20-12 between the circle this season.
Simpson collected her second three-hit game of the year going 3-for-4 with four RBIs and two runs scored. Krohn also posted three hits to go along with three RBIs and two runs scored. Three other Bearcats claimed two hits apiece. For Washburn, Malarie Fellers, Kala Huske and Shannon Gosser totaled two hits on the day.
"A lot of players came through at the right time offensively," said Anderson. "(Ashley) Pride had some hits and a bunt in the last inning to allow more runs to score. (Crystal) Gustin went in with a lot more confidence and did the job with a sacrifice fly and a double in the seventh.
"It was very refreshing to see us come back after yesterday and getting no hits."
NOTES: Northwest moved to 3-2 this year against Washburn … The 11 runs and 15 hits were the most since posting 21 runs on a school-record 22 hits against Upper Iowa (April 15) … The 11 runs was the eighth time this year Northwest has pushed 10 or more across - 2nd most in a season trailing the nine times in 1976 … Katy John has tied the school career record with 115 runs scored with her sixth-inning notch … Northwest goes to 6-5 this season against ranked opponents … Megan Simpson stands 7-for-20 since the MIAA Tournament, notching seven RBIs.
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