HOUSTON – In a battle between a pair of first-team All-America pitchers, Humboldt State’s Lizzy Prescott won the duel with Lock Haven’s Kristen Erb by a score of 2-1 in 10 innings.
Humboldt State (54-18) advances in the winners bracket to face the winner of today’s 5:30 pm game between LIU-C.W. Post and Emporia State game at 5:30 pm on Thursday, while Lock Haven (47-7) falls to the losers bracket and will face the loser of that same game at 12:30 pm on Thursday.
The pitchers traded scoreless innings until the bottom of the fifth inning when Humboldt State was able to manufacture the first run of the game.
Catcher Marissa Slattery led off the inning with a single and was sacrificed to second by third baseman Francesca West. Designated player Ashley Oltjenbruns then connected on a single to deep right field, and Slattery was sent home on the play, where she was caught in a rundown following a great throw in to the infield from Lock Haven right fielder Erica Eisenbise.
Oltjenbruns alertly advanced to third base during the rundown, putting her in position to score the winning run when centerfielder Chrissy Motzny slid headfirst into first base, just beating the throw from the Lady Eagles shortstop Ilia Lopez and allowing Oltjenbruns to score.
Lock Haven rallied in the top of the sixth inning as left fielder Julie Popovich led off with a single and Erb singled just fair down the left field line, advancing Popovich to second base with one out. Catcher Amanda Roosa then hit into a fielders choice with the Lumberjacks recording the out on the lead runner at third base. Pinch runner Amanda Gutmaker replaced Erb to run at second base with Lopez at the plate, but the Lady Eagles were unable to push a run across
That all changed in the top of the seventh as Lady Eagles tied the game in dramatic fashion on a one-out solo home run down the left field line by second baseman Devin Glezen. Glezen’s home run was her seventh home run of the season and the first home run of the 2008 NCAA Division II Softball Championship and it knotted the score at 1-1.
It took until the bottom of the 10th inning for another run to cross the plate. A one-out single by Lindsay Warren gave the Jacks a runner with one out. A groundout by Nikki Ketteringham put Warren in scoring position and an RBI single from Caitlin Klug gave Humboldt state a second run and the win.
The battle between two of the top pitchers in Division II featured an eight-strikeout performance from losing pitcher Kristen Erb, who falls to 41-7 on the season. Winning pitcher Lizzy Prescott improved to 45-11 on the season as she pitched all 10 innings and struck out 12 without issuing a walk.