For the second time of the weekend the #4 seed of the region, the Alma College Scots took on the #2 seed, the Simpson College Storm. Previously beating Simpson 2-1 yesterday Alma pulled off the 8-0 victory today. The win improved Alma's overall record to 28-15 and earned the 2015 Bloomington, IL Regional Championship title. Alma will advance to the Super Regional that is held May 15 and 16 in a to be determined location.
The starting line for the championship game:
In the circle for the Scots was So. P Morgan Stratton (Grand Blanc/Grand Blanc)
Alma playing as the away team in the championship game swung the bats first and lead off batter Couture got it started with a double to center field. Merice moved the runner to third on the sacrifice bunt, and a Simpson error allowed Couture to cross the plate giving Alma the 1-0 lead.
Alma was unable to put another run on the board in the top of the first but collectively retired the first three Simpson batters in the bottom of the frame.
One out on the board in the top of the second and a single from Hein followed by a sacrifice bunt from Witham put a Scot runner in scoring position. Zill reached on an error and stole second base, however a groundout concluded the inning.
Three consecutive hits for the Storm in the bottom of the second inning, but a throw out from left field to third base brought the inning to an end keeping the 1-0 Alma lead.
A fast third inning for both sides while the first three Scots batters were retired followed by stranding one Storm runner on base in the bottom after two groundouts, a walk, and strikeout.
Alma did not manage to put any runners on base in the top of four as the Storm retired the first three Scot batters. A high intensity bottom inning as the Storm loads the bases with only one out but two fly outs ended the inning.
There was action in the top of the fifth inning when Alma increased their lead 3-0. One out had been recorded and Zill pushed a single up the middle. One more out was recorded but that did not slow the Scots down as Merice singled to right center moving Zill to third. So. OF Kelsey Spencer (Eaton Rapids/Eaton Rapids) pinch ran and stole second putting both runners in scoring position and score they did as Olah hit a two RBI single up the middle. The top of the fifth inning concluded with a score of Alma 3, Simpson 0.
Alma allowed one hit from Simpson's lead off batter yet three consecutive outs kept the score 3-0.
Alma notched another run in the top of the sixth inning. One out and Collier answered with a double to left field. Hein got a single bunt down moving pinch runner Sr. Breu Olling (Breckenridge/Breckenridge) to third. An illegal pitch from Simpson allowed Olling to cross giving Alma the 4-0 lead. Three consecutive outs in the bottom of the sixth inning meant it was Alma's last at bat to give them a more comfortable lead.
Couture with a lead off double, Merice with a sacrifice bunt to advance her to third, and an RBI double from Olah for the first run of the inning. The Scots didn't stop there as Lusk singled up the middle. Two on base and Brooks with the RBI single up the middle giving Alma the 6-0 lead. Hein finished off the inning with a two RBI triple to right field giving Alma the comfortable 8-0 lead.
The Scots were just three outs away from winning the 2015 Bloomington, IL Regional Championship. After allowing only one hit in the bottom of the seventh the Scots defense stranded two Storm runners on base winning the Regional title 8-0.
Hein went 3-4 on the day with two RBI's. Couture was 2-4 and Olah was 2-4 with three RBI's. Action from all around the Scots line up on the afternoon with eight runs on 12 hits total. Sacrifice bunts also came natural today as there was a total of three that helped move the Scots runners around the bases.
Stratton with another significant day as she pitched a complete game allowing five hits and no runs with two strikeouts.
The Alma players were honored this weekend. Olah and Couture were honored on the All-Tournament Team and Stratton was recognized with the Most Outstanding Player award.
(Reaction after the victory)