Alma, Mich. - The Alma College softball team went 1-1 in action in the NCAA Regional Tournament on Saturday, falling to Illinois Wesleyan 4-3 and winning an elimination game 3-2 over Otterbein. The Scots (29-9) will play Illinois Wesleyan (33-12) on Sunday at noon in the regional championship game, in which they will have to defeat the Titans twice to advance to the next round of competition.
Morgan Stratton (Grand Blanc, Mich./Grand Blanc) pitched every inning of both games on Saturday, allowing six runs (four earned) on nine hits and four strikeouts. She posted an ERA of 2.05 and held opposing batters to a .188 batting average over the two games.
Against Otterbein (35-8), Alma managed only three hits off ace Gabby Johnson, who entered the NCAA Tournament 16-0. But the Scots got two of their three runs off a fielder's choice by Riley Terwilliger (Mount Pleasant, Mich./Sacred Heart Academy) in the top of the third. With the bases loaded, Terwilliger hit a slow roller to third base, which Savannah Sarkine had to charge at to make a play. Her throw to home was off the mark, allowing not only Anna Couture (Posen, Mich./Posen) to score, but McKenzie Creed (Edwardsburg, Mich./Edwardsburg), as well. That gave Alma a 3-2 lead, which it held for the rest of the game.
The Scots had to face Otterbein because of the result of game one against Illinois Wesleyan. The Titans scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh with two outs and the bases loaded. With two outs, Stratton was forced backward to field a pop up but was unable to make the play. By the time she threw home, the winning run had scored.
Alma battled back from down 3-0 early in the game against the Titans. In the third inning, Mary Brooks (Portland, Mich./Portland) hit a two-RBI double to right-center field that scored Chelsea Schweiger (St. Clair, Mich./St. Clair) and Kelsey Spencer (Eaton Rapids, Mich./Eaton Rapids). Brooks has the most RBI of any player in this regional section of the tournament with five.
The Scots tied the game in the fourth when, with the bases loaded, Schweiger hit a two-out single to center field, plating Terwilliger from third. Brooks followed up with a pop out to end the inning, leaving the bases loaded. Alma stranded nine runners against the Titans.
After two days of the NCAA Tournament, Alma has the best batting average (.257) and ERA (1.88) of the four teams in this region. The Scots also boast the tournament regional leaders in hits (Creed, 4), runs scored (Couture and Erin Lee (Commerce, Mich./Walled Lake Northern), 3) and doubles (Brooks, 2).
Contact: Zach Russo, Assistant Sports Information Director, (989) 463-7436