Softball Sweeps Methodist, #23 Cortland State to Win NFCA Classic Bronze Bracket Title
METHODIST BOX | CORTLAND BOX
Columbus, Ga., March 10, 2013 – An exceptional pitching performance by junior Kelsey Neal led the No. 25 ranked Washington University in St. Louis softball team to a 6-1 victory over No. 23 Cortland State University in the championship game of Bronze Bracket at the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Leadoff Classic Sunday in Columbus, Ga.
Washington University advanced to the championship game with a 9-5 victory over Methodist College in the first game Sunday. The Bears finished the six-game tournament with a 4-2 mark, including a pair of wins over ranked opponents.
#25 Washington U. 6, #23 Cortland State 1 - championship
Neal (6-1) was in control in the circle from start to finish as she tossed a one-hitter in the championship game for the Bears. She allowed a leadoff hit that scored on an error in the first for the lone Cardinal score of the contest. Neal retired 17-straight batters after the leadoff hit and allowed just one base runner after the first inning.
Trailing 1-0 through three innings, Washington U. scored a pair of runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to jump ahead 6-1. Junior Stacy Berg and sophomore Paige Biles drove in runs in the fourth as Washington U. had three hits in the inning. Junior Maggie Mullen drove in both runs in the fifth on a single, and then Neal had a pair of RBIs in the sixth on a single to left.
Washington U. had 13 hits in the championship game, tied for the second most this season. Mullen was 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored, while senior Ashley Janssen (2-for-3, walk, run scored) and freshman Brooke Hofer (2-for-4) recorded a multi-hit game.
#25 Washington U. 9, Methodist 5 - semifinals
Mullen was also the hitting star in game on against Methodist going 3-for-4 with three RBIs and three runs scored. Sophomore Adrienne White went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored and Biles was 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored, as Washington U. recorded 12 hits to overcome four errors.
Methodist (7-7) scored a pair of unearned runs off Hofer in the first to jump ahead 2-0. Hofer would last just 1 1/3 innings, allowing just one hit but walking three batters. Washington U. scored four runs on three hits in the third to jump in front 4-2. Mullen drove in the first two runs with a double, and then senior Sondra Polonsky added a two-RBI single.
White drove in a run with an RBI single in the fifth to push the advantage to 5-2, but the Monarchs answered with two runs on three hits off freshman Annie Pitkin. In the fifth, Mullen tripled to lead off the inning and then score on a sac fly by Polonsky to make it 6-4. Methodist answered back with an unearned run in the bottom half of the inning, but Washington U. put the game out of reach with three runs in the top of the seventh.
Neal led off the seventh with a single, and then scored on an RBI double by Mullen. An RBI single to left by Hofer made it 8-5, and then Biles added a two-out RBI single to round out the scoring. Pitkin (3-0) picked up the win toss 5 2/3 innings in relief, allowing five hits and two earned runs.
Washington U. hit .323 as a team in the six-game tournament, and posted a 2.21 earned run average. Hofer (.429, six RBIs), Mullen (.421, seven RBIs) and Janssen (.421) all hit .400 for the tournament, while Neal (3-1, 1.49 ERA) and Pitkin (1-0, 1.79 ERA) combined to toss 35 2/3 of 38 innings pitched.
Washington University (12-2) travels south to compete in the 2013 University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship Tournament on Tuesday-Saturday, March 12-17, in Altamonte Springs, Fla. The Bears open play with a pair of conference games Tuesday against Case Western Reserve University at 10 a.m. (ET) and Brandeis University at 12:30 p.m. (ET). Fans can follow along throughout the week on the UAA Championship website: https://bearsports.wustl.edu/Sports/Content/Pages/2013UAASoftball.aspx.
Bear Notebook: The Bears have recorded 10 or more hits in 10 of 14 games played this season … Hofer (.468), Mullen (.467) and Janssen (.423) all entire the UAA Championship Tournament hitting above .400.