Bears Rally For 3-2 Win Over Fontbonne in NCAA Tournament
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Pella, Iowa, May 12, 2011 – Freshman Maggie Mullen drove in the game-winning run with a double in the sixth inning as the Washington University in St. Louis softball team rallied from a two-run deficit for a 3-2 victory over local-rival Fontbonne University in the opening game of the 2011 NCAA Division III Midwest Regional on Thursday afternoon in Pella, Iowa.
Senior Claire Voris reached on an infield single to start the bottom of the sixth inning for the Bears, and then junior Corissa Santos followed with a walk. Mullen then delivered the big hit of the game, as she laced the first pitch to left field for a stand-up double scoring Voris.
Voris (16-4) threw a complete game on the mound allowing five hits and two earned runs, while striking out six. Washington U. out hit Fontbonne, 6-5, as the Bears won their opening NCAA Tournament contest for the first time since 2008. Sophomore Sondra Polonsky was 2-for-3 with two RBIs in the win, while Voris was 2-for-3 with a run scored.
“That has been our focus this year, not to give up, and focus on the adjustments we need to make,” said sixth-year head coach Leticia Pineda-Boutté. “I have faith in our offense that they are going to make adjustments. As a coach, you want your kids to be ready to play that first game out.”
Washington University (32-10-1) advances to take on top-seeded and No. 1 ranked Linfield College on Friday at 2 p.m., while Fontbonne fall in the loser’s bracket to take on No. 8 seed Anderson University in an elimination game at 10 a.m.
Fontbonne (29-9) struck first in the top of the second inning after Voris issued a leadoff walk to Amanda Beaver. Voris struck out Sarah Cerutti on three pitches, Kourtney VonBehren sent a pitch from Voris that just got over the left field fence to make it 2-0. The home run for VonBehren was her first of the season.
Polonsky led off the bottom of the third with a solo home run to deep left field to trim the advantage to 2-1. Junior Rebecca Salisbury followed with a six-pitch walk, but was picked off first base by Samantha Rosner for the first out of the inning to end the threat. Rosner threw out two runners in the first three innings of play.
A leadoff walk in the bottom of the fifth issued by Rachel McCarthy came back to haunt Fontbonne. Sophomore Alex Fjeldheim drew the walk off McCarthy, and then was pinch ran for by classmate Hilary Stepansky. She moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by freshman Kelsey Neal, and then scored on an RBI double by Polonsky.
Brittany Kirn relieved McCarthy, and got Salisbury to line out for the second out of the inning. Sophomore Ashley Janssen singled through the right side moving Polonsky to third, but was stranded there after junior Alyssa Abramoski grounded out to the pitcher to end the threat.
Bear Notebook: The Bears are making their 10th-straight NCAA Tournament appearance … Washington University is 22-18 (.550) all-time in the NCAA Tournament … Washington U. has won three of four meetings this season against Fontbonne … Fontbonne is 17-2 in its last 19 games, with both losses coming to the Bears ... Friday's Washington U.-Linfield game is a rematch of the 2007 NCAA Division III National Championship game.