DePauw wins nail-biter vs. Messiah
Tigers advance after plating two late tallies, both solo home runs
SALEM, Va. — DePauw junior Haley Buchanan's solo homer in the top of the 10th inning was the difference as the 16th-ranked Tigers advanced in the NCAA Division III Softball Championship winner's bracket with a 2-1 win against 11th-ranked Messiah.
The Tigers improved to 32-9-1 and now face Christopher Newport at 6:30 p.m. ET on Saturday. The Falcons dropped to 39-6 and face Eastern Connecticut State, which lost a 7-1 before falling 8-7 in eight innings, at 1:30 p.m. ET Saturday.
DePauw and Luther battled through seven scoreless innings with the best scoring opportunity coming for DePauw in the sixth. Emma Minx led off with a double but was eventually called out at the plate while trying to score on Holly Paris' single.
DePauw surged ahead for the first time when Minx hit a solo homer to left in the top of the eighth inning to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
The Falcons countered that in the bottom of the eighth as Ashley Lehman singled and moved to second on Abi Buchler's sacrifice bunt. Jacklyn Merkel followed with a double which scored Lehman and knotted the score at 1-1.
DePauw totaled 14 hits with at least one in each inning including six to lead off innings. Rachel MacBeth and Minx each had three, while Buchanan and Paris added two each. Messiah finished with six hits led by Lehman, Merkel and Sara Seneca with two each.
Emily Bichler, the second winningest pitcher in Division III this year, improved to 30-9 after allowing just six hits and one walk in 10 innings. Jocelyn Hickey dropped to 13-3 with the loss in relief.