Softball Shocks No. 12 Coe 7-6 in 10 Innings in NCAA Tournament Opener
BOX SCORE | GAME NOTES
Pella, Iowa, May 9, 2013 — Freshman Brooke Hofer went 3-for-6 with two RBIs and picked up the win in relief allowing one earned run in 5 2/3 innings pitched as the Washington University in St. Louis softball team shocked No. 12 ranked Coe College 7-6 in 10 innings Thursday in the opening game of the 2013 NCAA Division III Softball Regional at Central College in Pella, Iowa.
Fifth-seeded Washington U. improves to 31-12 and advances to the second round to take on top-seeded and No. 8 ranked University of St. Thomas Friday, May 10, at 2 p.m. No. 4 seed Coe drops to 32-7 and takes on No. 8 Bethany Lutheran College at 10 a.m. Friday in an elimination game. St. Thomas defeated Bethany Lutheran 9-1 in five innings in game one Thursday.
“It was a tough game and nice to come out and get a first-round victory. We got the first game jitters out of the way and hopefully our team will settle down,” said eighth-year head coach Leticia Pineda-Boutté. “We had timely hitting today, especially in the 10th inning.”
Tied 4-4 in the 10th inning, Hofer drove in two runs with a two-out RBI single to center to give Washington U. the 6-4 lead. Senior Ashley Janssen followed with an RBI single to drive in the eventual game-winning run. Janssen finished the day 4-for-7 with two runs scored and an RBI, and moved into fourth on the all-time hits list with 179.
“All of my hits are about visualizing. I go up to the plate knowing where I am going to hit the ball. That hit in the 10th felt great.” said Janssen. “This win was a team effort, and it’s the best game we have played all year. Its feels great to do that at regionals.”
Hofer (4-1) pitched 5 2/3 innings out of the bullpen, allowing three hits and four runs (one earned run). Freshman Annie Pitkin made the start for Washington U., and pitched 4 1/3 innings allowing five hits and two earned runs. Pitkin recorded the final out of the game to earn her second save of the year after Janssen made a sliding catch with the tying run at second base.
Senior Sondra Polonsky was 3-for-3 with three walks and reached base six times, while junior Kelsey Neal (2-for-6, RBI) and sophomore Adrienne White (2-for-6, RBI, run scored) added multiple-hit games.
“Ashley and Sondra are both seniors and are showing tremendous leadership by trying to get on base and set the tone,” Pineda-Boutté said about the play of Janssen and Polonsky.
Washington U. had a season-high 17 hits in the win, but committed six errors. The Bears also left 19 runners on base, one shy of the NCAA Division III record of 20 set by Washington U. in a 2-1 14-inning loss to University of Wisconsin-Whitewater May 14, 2011.
Coe scored two runs in the first inning to jump out in front 2-0 after a two-RBI double by Morgan Louck to left center. Pitkin walked Brianna Hull to lead off the inning, and then Callie Morningstar reached on an error by Pitkin.
Washington U. cut the lead in half after an RBI single by Neal to left field in the top of the fifth inning. The RBI for Neal was the 100th of her career, the seventh player in school history to achieve the feat. Junior Stacy Berg followed with a two-RBI single to left center to give the Bears their first lead of the game.
Coe tied the game with a run in the fifth, but White’s two-out RBI single to left in the top of the sixth got the lead back for Washington U. The game score remained 4-3 in favor of the Bears until the bottom of the seventh, when Hull scored on a passed ball with two outs to send the game to extra innings.
Bear Notebook: Janssen has reached base in 34-straight games … Coe and Washington U. have split 12 games in the all-time series … Washington U. owns an all-time postseason record of 23-20 (.535) in 11 appearances … The Bears are 3-4 this season against top-25 teams … Neal upped her single-season RBI total to 55, two shy of the Washington U. single-season record … The victory for Washington U. was the 430th in school history.