Bloomington, Ill., May 13, 2016 — Senior Annie Pitkin tossed a complete game with seven strikeouts to lead the No. 23-ranked Washington University in St. Louis softball team to a 2-1 win over DePauw University in the first round of the 2016 NCAA Division III Championship Friday in Bloomington, Ill.
Pitkin (21-5) allowed six hits and one earned run, and pitched around a second and third with one out jam in the seventh to preserve the win. She moved into a tie for second place in WashU school history with her 71st career victory.
"I really did not think about the outcome today. I tried to think about each pitch," said Pitkin. "Scoring early gave us the momentum. The execution of the small plays is what its about in the NCAA Tournament. We try to celebrate the small things in the dugout, and hope we can keep that rolling this weekend."
WashU scored both of its runs in the second inning without hitting the ball out of the infield. Junior Janet Taylor led off with a hit-by-pitch, and then moved to second on a bunt single by freshman Taylor Arends.
Both runners moved up a base on a sacrifice by sophomore Maggie Clapp, and then came Taylor came around to score on a swinging RBI bunt single by junior Halle Steinberg. Arends scored on a throwing error by the pitcher on the play to make it 2-0.
WashU recorded eight hits in the win and did not commit an error. Junior Hannah Mehrle set the WashU single-season school record with a single to left in the fourth.
WashU improved to 35-10 with the win, tied for the third most wins in a single season under head coach Leticia Pineda-Boutte. DePauw fell to 29-17 with the loss.
"Great base running and great execution with the short game scored both of the runs today," said Pineda-Boutte. "We strive to have a clean game each day, but to do that in the NCAA Tournament is important."
WashU takes on No. 18-ranked Illinois Wesleyan University Saturday at 11 a.m. in the NCAA Second Round.
"It's awesome to get that first win under your belt," added Pineda-Boutte.
BEAR NOTEBOOK: WashU has won both meetings with DePauw this season … Senior Brooke Hofer played in her 183rd career game, most in school history … WashU snapped a four-game losing streak in the NCAA Tournament, and is 25-26 all-time in 14 appearances … The Bears have won four of their last five NCAA opening round games … WashU is 26-3 this season when scoring first this season.