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Ohio Northern Forces Final Game of NCAA Regional with Win over Tigers

May 16, 2010

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May 16, 2010, Greencastle, Ind. —  Ohio Northern scored eight unanswered runs and forced the final game of the Greencastle, Indiana Regional in the NCAA Division III Softball Championship with a 9-6 win over DePauw.

Ohio Northern improved to 41-6, while DePauw dropped to 38-6. The two teams square off at 10 a.m. on Monday morning with the winner advancing to the Division III finals in Eau Claire, Wis., which begin on Friday, May 21.

Mandi Fought led off the Ohio Northern first with a double and moved to third on Jackie Mangola's fly out to left. Kimi Blewett followed with a run-scoring single through the left side.

DePauw countered in the first when Brianne Weeks singled and scored in Emma Minx's double to left center. Amy Hallett led off the DePauw second with a homer to left center which gave the Tigers a 2-1 lead.

The Polar Bears scored two in the third when Jackie Mangola drew a walk and Blewett followed with a double to left. Tina Mangola also drew a walk which loaded the bases, but a passed ball on the play allowed Jackie Mangola to score on a close play at the plate. Tina Mangola then attempted to advance to second and the throw went to the outfield allowing Blewett to score and give Ohio Northern a 3-2 advantage.

Ohio Northern blew the game open in the fourth when Cassie Gaye reached on an error and scored when Lisa Light reached on a sacrifice bunt and the throw to second went into center field and then past the Tigers' outfielder. Light made it to third on the play before Cortney Cash reached on a sacrifice bunt and moved to second on the play.

Fought followed with a single which scored Light and Jackie Mangola's sacrifice fly plated Cash and gave the Polar Bears a 6-3 lead. Katie Cretin later reached on an error which allowed fought to score and Meghan Anten brought home a pair with a single.

Hallett hit a solo homer to left center in the sixth and Weeks scored in the seventh on Minx's double down the right field line.

Fought and Blewett each had three of Ohio Northern's 10 hits, while Minx and Hallett each had two of the Tigers' eight.

Cash improved to 22-4 with the win. Megan Soultz dropped to 27-5 but just one of the nine runs she allowed was earned. She left the game after four when she sustained an injury during the fifth-inning warmup. Kristin Barrow pitched three scoreless innings in relief.

The two teams played the "if necessary" game last year with Ohio Northern winning 4-1. The Tigers also extended the 2008 opening round to the final game before losing to Wisconsin-Whitewater.

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