May 23, 2010

By Dan Myers
Special to

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. -- Eastern Connecticut State scored two runs apiece in the first and second innings en route to an 8-1 victory over DePauw Sunday in an NCAA Division III softball elimination game at Carson Park.

The loss eliminates the Tigers.

Eastern Connecticut advanced to face Christopher Newport in a late game on Sunday. The game is a rematch of Friday's quarterfinal games, which Christopher Newport won, 8-0. The winner will play the loser of East Texas Baptist and Linfield on Monday with a chance to play for the national championship on the line.

An RBI double by Molly Rathbun got the Warriors on the board first in the bottom of the first inning. A passed ball moved Rathbun to third and she scored on a single by Katie O'Toole.

Ashley Sullivan and Priscilla Alicea each added RBI singles in the second to make it 4-0, providing Rathbun with all the help she would need on the mound. Rathbun tossed six strong innings, allowing just one run on four hits. She earned the victory to improve to 29-1. Kassondra Silva pitched the seventh for the Warriors, walking two but allowing no runs or hits.

Holly Paris led DePauw offensively, going 2-for-2 at the plate with an RBI. Megan Soultz pitched five innings, allowing six runs, with five of them earned. She also walked three and struck out two.

CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT 4, LUTHER 3: Christopher Newport scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to rally from a 2-0 deficit, defeating and eliminating Luther.

An RBI double by Kelsey Hake in the second inning and a solo home run by Tiffany Kruse in the fourth made it 2-0 Norse.

The Captains rallied for a run in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI single by Taylor Morgan to make it 2-1 before taking their first lead the next inning.

Maggie Farris led off the inning with a pinch-hit single up the middle and Ashley Mani walked, setting up Jessie Atkinson, who blasted a three-run home run over the left field wall to make it 4-2.

Luther led off the seventh with a pair of singles and a sacrifice to put runners at second and third with one out. Following a pop out, Hake beat out an infield single, scoring one to make it 4-3. An intentional walk loaded the bases, but CNU pitcher Kristen Rowe struck out the final hitter to nail down the win.

Rowe threw all seven innings for the Captains, allowing three runs, two of them earned, walking one and striking out six.

Kim Lambert took the loss for Luther, allowing three runs on two hits and two walks over the final two innings. Lexy Determan started the game and tossed four innings, allowing a run on five hits with five punchouts.