Winona St. takes lead in ninth for victory to clinch Super Regional appearance
MANKATO, Minn. – Britt Stewart had a bases loaded single in the bottom of the ninth to lead Winona State to the title at the NCAA Central 2 Region tournament in Mankato, Minn. Stewart's walk-off single gave WSU its first lead of the day and a 4-3 victory.
Jordan Petersen led off the inning with a single and Ashley Walker followed with a base hit of her own. Morgan Lintz drew a walk to load the bases, setting up Stewart's game-winning hit.
Winona State is now 37-12 on the season and has advanced to the NCAA Super Region tournament for the second time in program history (2009).
Minnesota State opened the game with two runs in the top of the first, with Anna Cole hitting a two-run single. The Warriors got both runs back in the third, with Jessica Kullmann leading off the frame with a double. WSU loaded the bases with no outs, setting up Brooke Piotrowski who plated one with a single. Ashley Walker followed by drawing a bases-loaded walk to knot things at two.
Walker's walk gave her 61 RBI on the season, setting a new Winona State record for runs batted in in a single campaign.
MSU retook the lead with one run in the fifth, but the Warriors answered in the bottom of the sixth. A pair of walks and a Jordan Petersen single loaded the bases and Piotrowski came through with an infield single that tied the game at three.
Neither team would score until the bottom of the ninth, with Stewart knocking in the winning run and moving the Warriors on in the postseason.
Piotrowski had two of WSU's RBI on the game, with Walker and Stewart also driving in one. Piotrowski also had a pair of hits on the game, as did Walker and Petersen.
Walker pitched all nine innings, giving up three runs on seven hits. She also struck out five to move her record to 20-2 on the season. The sophomore earned the victory in all three games of the regional tournament and is just the eighth pitcher in program history to win 20 games in a season.