Kardias belts out grand slam as Cortland St. cruises to 9-1 win against Luther
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. -– Cortland hit three homeruns, including a Cassie Kardias grand slam, and the Red Dragons defeated 18th-ranked Luther College 9-1 during the second day of the NCAA Division III Softball Championship. The game was called after five innings due to the eight-run rule.
Cortland (34-15) is 2-0 at the eight-team, double-elimination tournament. The Red Dragons are off to a 2-0 start for the first time in the program's eight championship appearances. Cortland is guaranteed at least a third-place national finish at the finals. The Red Dragons' previous best national finish was fourth place with a 2-2 record in 2011.
Junior Amber Corrigan earned her 20th win of the season after allowing only three hits in five innings. She walked two and struck out one. Luther starter Becca Girvan, now 23-6, gave up six hits and nine runs, three earned, with three walks and four strikeouts in four innings.
Cortland led 1-0 in the top of the first when Lucia Meola walked and Alicia Hibbard hit an RBI double to left center. Diane Cork and Meola hit back-to-back solo homers with one out in the third to extend the lead to 3-0.
Luther scored in the third on a Kelsey Weindruch sacrifice fly, but Cortland exploded for six runs with two outs in the top of the fourth. Briana Barca was hit by a pitch and Jamie Bucci reached on an error. Cork walked to load the bases, Meola hit a two-run single to left and Hibbard singled to re-load the bases. Kardias then hit a blast estimated to travel at least 270 feet for her grand slam and a 9-1 lead.
Meola finished 2-for-2 with a walk, three RBI and three runs scored and Hibbard was 2-for-2 with a walk, RBI and run scored. Cork ended 1-for-2 with a walk, RBI and two runs and Kardias was 1-for-3 with four RBI.