HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ken. – Brittnie Boerema went two for three with two doubles and three RBI to help Saint Joseph’s (Ind.) to a 5-3 victory against Northern Kentucky at the NCAA Midwest Super Regional on Sunday. The victory clinches the best-of-three series as SJC is now set to make its first appearance in the Division II Softball Championship finals.
After a 2-1 victory Friday, the Pumas (39-19) put-up zeros on the Frank Ignatius Grein Softball Field scoreboard through the first two innings Saturday. The Norse (38-21) loaded the bases in the top of the third, chasing Megan Ramey from the game. NKU scored three times before Natalie Papi hit a liner to Amy Varner, who speared the ball and stepped on second base to end the inning.
As it was in the first game, the second time through the order allowed SJC to take a firm grip on the momentum.
Stephanie Winter led off the inning with a walk as Shawn Hoskins followed with a single up the middle. Boerema then ripped a double into centerfield that scored a pair, pulling the Pumas to 3-2. Kristin Paris moved Boerema to third with a sacrifice bunt which allowed Audra Rains to tie the game with sacrifice fly into leftfield.
Sarah Franklin made short work of the Norse in the top of the sixth. Hoskins led the inning with a slicing shot into right which hit the tip of the glove of Alex Caudill and bounded into foul territory. Hoskins advanced to third standing up for Boerema, who hit another double to give SJC a 4-3 lead.
Paris executed a perfectly placed bunt that rolled through the right side of the infield. NKU had the wheel play on and once the bunt got past the pitcher no defender was in position to make a play. Boerema never stopped running as she scored from second to bring SJC three outs away from the championship finals.
With the bottom of the order due up the Pumas looked to make short work of the Norse, but after an error, single and walk the bases were loaded. Jessica Farris lined-out to Varner who again stepped on second to record the double play. Franklin then got Mandi McQueen to fly out to center to end the game giving the Pumas the win and series sweep.