Bloomington, Ill., May 14, 2016 — No. 18-ranked Illinois Wesleyan University scored three runs in the top of the seventh with a pair of homeruns to post a 3-1 victory over the No. 23 Washington University in St. Louis softball team Saturday in a winner's bracket contest of the 2016 NCAA Division III Championship in Bloomington, Ill.
Illinois Wesleyan improved to 32-10 with the win, while WashU fell to 35-11. The Bears take on the winner of DePauw University and Hanover College Saturday at 4pm in an elimination game.
Junior Hannah Mehrle walked to lead off the sixth, and then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by junior Janet Taylor. Mehrle moved to third on a groundout by freshman Taylor Arends, and then scored on a passed ball.
Senior Annie Pitkin took the 1-0 lead to the seventh, but hit Sam Gudat on the first pitch. Mary Rankin followed with a two-run homerun to center, and then Julie Josten added a solo homerun to make it 3-1.
Pitkin (21-6) took the loss allowing seven hits and three earned runs in 6 2/3 innings pitched, while sophomore Maggie Clapp tossed a 1/3 of an inning and allowed two hits.
Sophomore Hera Tang was 1-for-3 with a double as WashU was limited to two hits but recorded seven walks. The Bears did not commit an error for the second-straight game.
BEAR NOTEBOOK: Illinois Wesleyan leads the all-time series with WashU 12-11, and has won eight-straight games dating back to 2011 … Senior Brooke Hofer played in her 184th career game, most in school history … WashU is 25-27 all-time in 14 NCAA appearances … The Bears suffered their fourth loss (26-4) of the season with scoring first … Tang is 3-for-6 in the NCAA Tournament ... The Bears are 1-6 against ranked teams this season.