Montclair, NJ (5/8/09) – Following a day of upsets and delays, the eight first-round sites are nearly back on track and have held to form as the top seeds in each bracket began to take hold of their respective tournaments.
Five sites have produced a No. 1 vs. No. 2 seed matchup for Saturday with the winner taking a huge step toward capturing their first-round championship and earning a trip to the NCAA Division III Softball Championship in Montclair, NJ next week. Meanwhile, in the Indianola, Iowa bracket the final two seeds have turned that tournament upside-down.
Eighth seeded Webster College and No. 7 seed Gustavus Adolphus both moved to 2-0 in their bracket. Webster, which knocked off No.2 ranked St. Thomas (MN) on Thursday, was held to just one hit, but the Gorlocks’ Erynn Coit scored on a wild pitch with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning to provide the lone run of the game as Webster defeated fourth-seeded Wartburg Friday, 1-0. Megan Speary tossed a four-hit shutout for the victory. The Gorlocks will face Gustavus Adolphus, which topped Luther 5-3 as Lisa Klass and Emily Klein each drove in two runs.
At Beverly, Massachusetts, top-seeded Tufts University needed extra innings, but still managed to win its 40th game of the year following a 3-1 nine-inning victory over No. 5 seed Emerson. Izzie Santone improved to 18-1 as she allowed just four hits and struck out five. Danielle Lopez provided the winning margin with a two-run homer in the top of the ninth. The Jumbos (40-1) will face No. 3 seed Coast Guard in a battle of unbeaten teams left in that bracket.
The Ithaca, Mahwah and Greencastle brackets all have No. 1-2 matchups in their pivotal contests on Saturday.
Cortland takes on Rochester after both teams won on Friday at Ithaca College. The Red Dragons blanked Buffalo State 4-0 to gain a small measure of revenge against the Bengals, who knocked off Cortland for the SUNYAC title last week. Rochester handed Keuka a 10-2 setback to set up a rematch with Cortland. The two teams met back on April 5 splitting a doubleheader.
Top-seeded Messiah will face No. 2 William Paterson in the Mahwah bracket. The Falcons posted their second straight shutout as they blanked Moravian 4-0. William Paterson completed its opening-round contest with Muhlenberg winning 9-2 before coming back to down fellow NJAC member Rowan 2-1 in the final game of the day.
In Greencastle, Illinois, Ohio Northern takes on DePauw as each look to make it three straight wins. Ohio Northern scored three times in the top of the seventh inning for an 8-5 win over Defiance College (OH) while DePauw blanked Thomas More, 2-0 as Megan Soultz retired the first 15 batters and allowed just one hit.
At the Salisbury, Maryland site, the host Sea Gulls remained alive in the tournament with a pair of wins, but it’s third-seeded Emory as the only unbeaten team left. Eagles’ senior Kim Bandy socked a pair of home runs and totaled four RBIs while freshman Jessica Thomas hit a solo blast to spark Emory to a 6-0 win over Neumann College to move to 2-0 in the tournament.
It will be a rematch of last year’s national final for the second time in three days and can defending champion Wisconsin-Eau Claire do it again? The Blugolds face Wisconsin-Whitewater in the first game of the day on Saturday with the winner taking on 2-0 and host Illinois Wesleyan, which topped Alma 6-3 on Friday. Eau Claire defeated top-seeded Whitewater 5-1 in the last game of the day on Thursday.
In the Marshall, Texas bracket host East Texas Baptist and Texas-Tyler square off in a battle of 2-0 squads on Saturday. The host Lady Tigers edged Louisiana College 1-0 behind the 10th shutout of the season from current national ERA leader Ayrika Henderson. They will meet fellow American Southwest Conference foe Texas-Tyler, which edged top-seeded Linfield College, 3-2 in 10 innings. EBT has won four of the five meetings with Texas-Tyler this season, however it is the Patriots winning the most recent – 1-0 in the ASC Tournament.