Division III National Championship: Wisconsin-Eau Claire Takes Advantage of Mistakes for 9-1 Victory over Rhode Island College
No. 3 seed Wisconsin-Eau Claire picked up a 9-1 victory over Rhode Island College in the third game of theDivision III national championship after RIC committed seven errors in the five-inning loss.
"We came out and I don't think there were a lot of jitters for a first-time appearance at the national championship," Eau Claire head coach Leslie Huntington said.
Eau Claire did its fair share of hitting, belting out 11 hits to score four earned runs against Rhode Island's All-American starting pitcher, Nicole Riley. Her counterpart in the circle, Mallory McKinney, held Rhode Island to just two hits while going 3-4 at the plate with two RBIs.
Rhode Island took the early lead as designated player Mandy Shurgot belted a shot over the center field fence in the top of the second, but the Anchorwomen managed only one more hit through the remaining three innings.
Eau Claire got all the offense they would need in the bottom half of the third, scoring five runs on four hits and three errors. The Blugolds were led by a 3-3 performance by second baseman Casey Leisgang, who started out the inning with a single and then scored on a McKinney double. The other four runs in the inning were the result of a combination of infield hits and Rhode Island errors.
Rhode Island falls to the loser bracket to face the loser of the Washington-St. Louis versus Plattsburgh State game at 1:30 p.m. EDT tomorrow, while Eau Claire will face the winner at 6:30 p.m. EDT.
Rhode Island head coach Maria Morin was confident her team would rebound. "We haven't doubted ourselves all season long, and we're not going to doubt ourselves tomorrow. As my kids said, tomorrow's a new day," Morin said.