The three-seed Muskingum softball team used a complete team effort to beat two-seed DePauw in the opening game of the Angola, Indiana Division III Softball Regional on Friday, 2-1.
With the win, the Muskies (27-16) advance in the winners bracket to play top-seed and host Trine (38-3) on Saturday, May 10 at 11:00 a.m. The game will be broadcast live on the Muskie Sports Network. The winner of the outing will advance to the championship game scheduled for Sunday, May 11 at noon. The loser of the contest will face the winner of Washington & Jefferson/DePauw in an elimination game at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday.
The Muskies survived a bases loaded jam, two errors and mother nature in the bottom of the seventh to seal the victory. With rain peppering the field, DePauw had the bases loaded with two outs with its leadoff hitter Sammi Bell at the plate. Bell popped out to sophomore Kelly Martin in foul territory down the left field line to end the game and keep the Muskies in the winners bracket of the regional.
Muskingum sophomore Kristin Gill fired a complete game gem. She allowed one run on six hits with four strikeouts to earn her eighth win of the season. Gill was masterful throughout all seven innings.
DePauw (26-19) staked itself to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Bell scored from third. Bell slide across the plate seconds prior to Linsey Button being tagged out trying steal second base for the third out of the inning.
The Muskies tied the contest in the fourth inning. Junior Kayley Bevard led the frame off with a single and moved to second on Martin's sacrifice bunt. Freshman Jessica Matthews followed with an RBI single to center field to score Bevard.
Muskingum took the lead in the fifth inning. Junior Jaclynn Hess belted a double to right center to open the inning and freshman Dakota DeAmicis moved Hess to third with a sacrifice bunt. Sophomore Amber Bova then delivered an RBI single to score Hess.
The total Muskie effort was also highlighted by outstanding defensive plays in the outfield. Bevard, Bova and junior Hannah Reese flashed the leather all game by making several outstanding catches to rob the Tigers of hits.
Taking the loss for DePauw was Kahla Nolan, who tossed seven innings and allowed two runs on five hits with five strikeouts.
The regional win is the first for Muskingum since 2008 - the last year they advanced to regional play and the last season that Muskingum advanced to the Division III World Series.