NCAA Division II Softball Championship
Florida Southern all-America pitcher Megan Brown hurled a three-hit shutout as the Mocassins blanked Nebraska-Omaha 4-0 to stay alive in the 2007 NCAA Division II Softball Championship being played in Akron, Ohio.
Brown, who struck out eight, had a no-hitter through four innings as she moved to 33-9 on the year and avenged Thursday’s opening-round loss to SIU-Edwardsville in which she surrendered three runs on six hits.
The Mocs (50-14) staked their three-time all-American to an early lead, plating a run in the top of the second. Natalie Williams kicked off the inning with a single through the right side and moved to second on AngelaWilliams’ sacrifice bunt. After advancing to third on a groundout, Williams scored when Michelle Tatlock reached on a base hit to second base.
FSC added another run in the fifth as Jesse Shepherd laced a one-out single. Sarah Kohlbrenner followed with a base hit, and Jackie Leppla laced a ball between third and short to score Shepherd.
“This game can change pitch-to-pitch,” FSC head coach Chris Bellotto said. “I was proud of the kids. I asked them to respond and they did. Our focus needed to be different.”
Florida Southern posted its final run the following inning as back-to-back walks and a sacrifice put runners on second and third with one out.
Shepherd stepped up big again, driving a two-strike single up the middle that scored Leah English and Tatlock.
Melissa Negrete fell to 14-10 on the year as she surrendered the four runs on eight hits and struck out three over five and two-thirds innings. Cheris Kuster pitched the final inning and a third as UNO ended its season at 34-20.
Florida Southern returns to action Saturday at Noon EDT, taking on either Lock Haven or Angelo State in an elimination contest at Firestone Stadium.