Top-ranked Tigers One Win Away from NCAA Finals after Comeback Victory
May 10, 2008
May 10, 2008, Rock Island, Ill. - Lauren Rees' fielder's choice grounder in the bottom of the eighth scored Carolyn Bartlett from third with the game-winning run as top-ranked DePauw defeated 17th-ranked Wisconsin-Whitewater, 6-5, and advanced to Sunday's championship game in NCAA Division III first-round action at Augustana.
DePauw plays in Sunday's 2 p.m. CDT title game needing just one win to advance to the finals in Salem, Va., for the second straight year. The Tigers play the winner of tomorrow's noon contest between Wartburg and Wisconsin-Whitewater. With today's victory DePauw improved to 40-2 on the season, while the Warhawks dropped to 32-9.
Bartlett led off the eighth with a single, moved to second on Kelly Schwerzler's sacrifice bunt and on to third on a passed ball. Rees then hit a grounder to Warhawks' second baseman Ashley Smith whose throw to the plate wasn't in time for the out.
The Tigers had to battle back twice from a first-inning deficit after Whitewater's Smith singled and Suzanne Gersich followed with a homer to left.
In the bottom half of the first, Chelsy Patterson singled and stole second before Brianne Weeks walked. After Kaitlyn Davitt advanced the runners with a sacrifice bunt, Rachel Gill followed with a sacrifice fly to left scoring Patterson.
DePauw tied it in the third after Pattterson walked, Weeks singled and Davitt again delivered a sacrifice bunt before Gill pulled off a successful suicide squeeze which plated Patterson.
The Warhawks regained the lead in the sixth as Amy Gahl led off with a single and Smith followed with a bunt base hit. Gersich then hammered her second home run to centerfield making it 5-2.
For the second time in the contest, the Tigers battled back to knot the score at 5-5. Ashlee Anton led off the DePauw sixth by reaching on a walk and moved to second on Bartlett's bunt. Schwerzler reached on an infield single and a throwing error on the play allowed Anton to score and Schwerzler to take second.
Rees reached base when Warhawks' pitcher Jessica Stang couldn't field a grounder cleanly. Kate Shipley replaced Rees as a pinch-runner and stole second. Emma Minx then delivered a two-run single to tie the game.
The top three hitters in Whitewater's lineup, Gahl, Smith and Gersich each collected two of their seven hits with Gersich driving in all five. Five different Tigers collected one hit apiece.
Megan Soultz improved to 36-2 with the win, while Stand dropped to 10-4. Soultz struck out seven in the contest and her fifth-inning strikeout of Liz Yucuis was the 400th of her career which broke the DePauw career record held by Darvy Vannatta (1999-02).