LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Brianna Knipe’s three-run homer lifted Kutztown to a 4-0 win against Augustana (S.D.) in the first round of the NCAA Division II tournament on Wednesdayat Knights Field.
The Golden Bears (51-5) scored all of their runs in the second inning. With one out, Samantha Derr got KU rolling with a single to center field. Maria Isgro drew a walk to put Golden Bears on first and second.
Knipe then sent the first pitch she saw sailing over the left-center fence to give the Golden Bears a 3-0 lead.
Kutztown wasn’t done yet. Jackie Hetzler doubled down the right-field line and moved to third base after a single from Morgan Booth. Hetzler used her speed to score KU’s fourth run from Kelly Strittmatter, who grounded out to the pitcher.
After a huge inning by KU, the Vikings (53-11) tried to connect their hits but were unable to as the recently named Division II All American Pitcher of the Year, Samantha Derr, kept them off the bases. Alongside her pitching, stood a remarkable defensive unit that made several dynamic plays against the Vikings, including a triple play in the second inning. KU’s defense was rock solid and didn’t allow any Viking to advance past second base throughout the game.
Kutztown notched its 22nd shutout of the season, while Derr recorded her 12th shutout in the circle. She improved to 29-3 on the year. Her 29 wins are a single-season record. Derr pitched a complete game and tossed 79 pitches. Augustana tallied just four hits.
Ashley Meyer recorded the loss for Augstana. Meyer recorded five strikeouts as the Vikings’ defense committed four errors.
The Golden Bears will face the winner of the UC-San Diego-Valdosta State game at 3 p.m. Thursday at Knights Field.