SALEM, Va. – SUNY-Cortland rallied from a 5-0 first-inning deficit to defeat DePauw 14-8 in an elimination game at the NCAA Division III Softball Championship.
Senior Donnalyn Cross finished 4 for 4 with two triples, a double, two RBIs and four runs scored. She is now the NCAA Division III career leader with 43 triples, two more than the previous record-holder.
Sophomore Lucia Meola went 3 for 3 with a walk, four RBIs and two runs scored, senior Brooke Weidman was 2 for 3 with a walk and three runs scored and junior Jessica Harman finished 1 for 3 with a walk, solo homer and two runs.
Trailing 7-4 entering the bottom of the fifth, Cortland scored five runs to take a 9-7 lead. DePauw (34-11-1), ranked 16th nationally, scored once in the top of the sixth to draw back to within a run, but the Red Dragons broke the game open with five more runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Cortland won despite tying an NCAA Division III tournament record by committing eight errors. All eight of DePauw’s run were unearned as a result. Three of those errors helped DePauw score its five first-inning runs. Buena Vista made eight errors, also in a win, versus Cal Lutheran in the 1998 NCAA West regional.
Junior Lyndsay Rowell improved to 26-3 with the victory. She gave up 10 hits and one walk and struck out one. All 14 runs that Rowell has allowed through Cortland’s first three tournament games have been unearned.
Haley Buchanan led DePauw by going 3 for 4 with two runs scored. Amy Hallett hit a three-run homer in the first and finished 2 for 3 with four RBIs and two runs and Rachel MacBeth was 2 for 5 with an RBI.
Down 5-0, Cortland got two runs back in the bottom of the first when Cross tripled and scored on a Meola single. Meola was thrown out trying to advance to second on theplay, and two batters later Harman hit a solo homer to left for her second round-tripper of the season.
MacBeth’s RBI single in the third put the Tigers up 6-2, but Cortland scored twice in the bottom of the inning on a Meola two-run single. A leadoff error by the Red Dragons in the fourth set up an eventual RBI single by Hallett and DePauw led 7-4.
Cortland’s five-run fifth inning started with a Weidman single and a Cross RBI double. Meola singled home Cross, and an Abby Martin single and Cassie Kardias walk loaded the bases with one out. DePauw’s Emily Bichler then unleashed a wild pitch that allowed Meola to score the tying run.
During the play, Bichler started to walk back to the circle with home plate uncovered and pinch-runner Charlotte Freed, who started the play at second base, alertly kept running past third and scored to give Cortland an 8-7 lead. Kardias went from first to third on the sequence and scored on Meaghan Kohler’s RBI single.
DePauw got a run back in the sixth on an RBI groundout by Jamie Story, but left the potential tying run stranded on third.
Cortland then broke the game open with five runs in the sixth on a Cross RBI triple, a Martin sacrifice fly, an error, a Tara Donnino sacrifice fly and a Katie Fusco RBI single.