May 22, 2009

SALEM, VA -- In athletic competition the outcome of a game usually comes down to a matter of inches and that was pretty much the situation with No. 6 Winona State University (49-12) as the Warriors lost to the Chargers from the University of Alabama in Huntsville 1-0 in the third game of the opening round to the NCAA Division II World Series held at the Jamie I. Moyer Sports Complex.

The loss snapped the Warriors' 14-game losing streak and sent them into the loser's bracket of the double-elimination tournmant. WSU next will play May 23 at 1:00 p.m. against Le Moyne University, NY (45-12).

The No. 5 Chargers (52-5) got a bouncing double just over the head and out of the reach of WSU third baseman Kelly Ward and just inside the leftfield foul line to start the bottom of the fifth. UAH then used a sacrifice bunt to move the runner up to third and followed that up with a dying quail blooper to right centerfield that just fell in front of WSU centerfielder Mollie Bjelland to drive in what proved to be the winning.

On the Warrior side of things, they were held hitless until Amanda Wilhelm led off the top of the seventh with a bouncing ball to centerfield, the only ball WSU hit out of the infield. Bjelland then worked a walk to put the tying run for WSU on second base. Then the game of inches worked against the Warriors as Kayla Lewis' line drive that was heading to the gap in right center was snagged by the UAH second baseman and Bjelland was caught off first base for the doubleplay.

Still the game was not finished as Kathy Crudo's ground ball was booted at shortstop and Wilhelm moved up to third to give the Warriors life. But realty set in on the next play as Callie Givens' ground ball to short produced the final out of the game.

Stacey Struzynski was the tough luck losing pitcher, scattering six hits. She did not walk a batter, struck out three and was on the short end of the game of inches.