ST. LOUIS -- Wayne State (Mich.) (45-10 overall) recorded back-to-back wins against Missouri-St. Louis (49-8) to advance to the national championships for the third time in program history. WSU blanked UMSL 1-0 in Saturday's first contest, before out-scoring the hosts 8-4 in game three of the weekend series.
The Warriors had entered Saturday's NCAA Midwest Super Regional best two-of-three series down 1-0 after falling to the Tritons 3-0 on Friday.
In Saturday's opener, Wayne State hurler Lyndsay Butler tossed a three-hit shutout with 11 strikeouts and three walks, while redshirt senior second baseman Julie Ingratta drove in the game's only run with a one-out single in the fourth.
Logan White started the scoring frame as she was hit by the first pitch of the inning from UMSL starter Brittni Chapman (19-2). White advanced to second on Butler's groundout, but had to stay put on an infield single by Emily Bryce, her fourth hit of the weekend. Ingratta then ripped an 0-1 offering through the left side scoring White from second.
Butler (24-5) had to work around a few jams in the contest as the game's leadoff batter walked on a 3-2 pitch, but consecutive strikeouts and a fielder's choice ended the top of the first as WSU was the home team for Game 2 of the weekend set.
The Tritons had another baserunner in the second on a two-out error, but Butler tallied her third strikeout of the game to end the threat. UMSL received a leadoff single in the fifth but White made a long running catch in foul territory to record the first out. A fly out and another strikeout ended the fifth.
Missouri-St. Louis' leadoff batter in the sixth reached on an infield single but a strikeout and a fielder's choice before an intentional walk resulted in two runners on with two outs. Three consecutive strikes to Ashleigh King concluded on a strikeout looking.
UMSL would not go quietly in the seventh as a two-out error and a walk had the tying run in scoring position, but Butler again threw three consecutive strikes to Jena Boudreau to end the contest.
Chapman allowed the one run on six hits with three strikeouts and no walk.
Six different Warriors had singles in the contest.
The final game of the 2014 Midwest Super Regional was a war of attrition as both teams used two pitchers, combined for 18 hits and four errors (two by each squad) with Wayne State out-scoring Missouri-St. Louis 8-4.
WSU starter Briana Lee recorded three strikeouts around one walk in the top of the first as the Warriors were the home team after winning the coin toss.
In the bottom of the first, freshman designated player Emily Cava blasted an 0-1 offering from Triton starter Hannah Perryman (29-6) over the right field fence giving WSU an early 1-0 advantage.
Lee worked around a two-out single in the second before recording back-to-back strikeouts to end the top of the third.
The Warriors exploded for five runs on four hits and were aided by a pair of UMSL miscues in the bottom of the third. Gabby Williams reached on a sun aided dropped fly by the second baseman to start the inning. Cava reached on a fielder's choice sacrifice bunt that very well could have been ruled a bunt base hit. White followed with a single through the left side scoring Williams to make it 2-0.
Butler was safe at first on a sacrifice bunt throwing error to load the bases. Bryce's single to right scored Cava and chased Perryman from the circle. After a fielder's choice, sophomore third baseman Jade McGarr singled through the left side scoring Butler, and Lee helped her own cause with a two-run single up the middle to make it 6-0.
UMSL responded with three runs on four hits along with a Warrior error to cut its deficit in half at 6-3. Butler replaced Lee in the circle with two outs, runners on the corners and three runs in and notched the final out of the frame on a groundout.
Wayne State answered with two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Cava had a leadoff single and advanced to second as White was ruled out on a sacrifice bunt. Butler singled to put runners at first and third. A groundout advanced Butler to second, before Ingratta drove in a pair with a single to left as Butler had a nice slide at home to make it 8-3.
UMSL scored its fourth run in the top of the fifth on two hits and a WSU error. A leadoff single in the sixth preceded two groundouts sandwiched around a strikeout.
In the top of the seventh, Ingratta made a diving stop on a ball drilled up the middle and threw out UMSL's Brianna Butler at first. Alex Stupek then flied out to right field, before Ingratta caught a pop fly while battling the sun to end the game.
Butler (25-5) earned the win in relief by allowing just one unearned run on three hits in 3.1 innings with four strikeouts and no walks. Lee surrendered three runs (two earned) on five hits in 3.2 innings with five strikeouts and two walks.
Perryman was tagged for a season-high six runs (two earned) on four hits with three strikeouts in her 2.0 innings of work. Chapman limited the Warriors to two earned runs in her four innings in the circle.
Wayne State had a 10-8 advantage in hits, with Cava and White each going 2-for-3 and Cava scoring three runs.
The Warriors will play at on Thursday, May 22 in the opening round of the 2014 NCAA Division II championships against Valdosta State.