Roanoke Headed to Regional Championship
Higbie Two-Hits Captains, Warlitner Belts Two-Run Homer in Big Seventh Inning
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. --- Roanoke College put
up three runs in the top of the seventh, highlighted by Hollee Warlitner's two-run shot to left, and rode
another strong outing from Kelly Higbie to knock off #10 Christopher
Newport University, 4-1, in the winner's bracket semifinal on
The Maroons (32-9) advance to the Newport News Regional championship game of the NCAA Division III Softball Tournament, which is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on Monday. The last time the Maroons played in the regional championship was in 2006, where they fell twice to Emory University. Roanoke will face the winner of Sunday's 2:00 p.m. game that pits Christopher Newport (32-10) against McDaniel College (30-13).
The Maroons are now 5-5 against the Captains and this is the second time Roanoke has defeated CNU in regional play. In each of the four previous victories over CNU, Roanoke won by just one run.
The Captains jumped on the scoreboard early as Kelley Foate, who reached on a walk and stole second, crossed the plate after a sacrifice fly ball. After the bottom of the first, Christopher Newport led 1-0.
However, the Maroons were quick to respond as Katherine Kouri doubled to left field scoring Caitlin Manuel from second base. Roanoke locked up the score at 1-1 after the top of the second inning.
Both teams had their opportunities over the next couple of innings, each leaving multiple runners on base through the sixth. It wasn't until the top of the seventh when Roanoke made its big push.
Kouri picked up her second hit of the day to lead off the inning, then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Rhea Schleicher. In the next at-bat, Leona Rainey earned her only hit of the game, scoring Kouri from second to go ahead 2-1. Two batters later, Warlitner crushed a 2-0 pitch 200 feet over the left field wall to extend the Maroons' lead to three at 4-1.
In the bottom of the seventh, Higbie only had to face four batters to close out the game and advance the Maroons to the championship game.
Kouri went 2-for-2 on the day with one run and one RBI. Her two hits came from at-bats that tallied a combined 22 pitches. Clark led the team with three hits, while Warlitner went 1-for-3 with her only hit being the two RBI round-tripper.
Higbie continued her outstanding performance during this tournament with her 32nd complete game and third win of the weekend. The ODAC Co-Rookie of the Year gave up just one run, holding CNU to two hits. She also struck out three in her effort.
For CNU, Jennifer Falin and Chelsea Mitchell each picked up one hit, while Foate scored the only run. Krista Townsend pitched a complete game, giving up four runs while striking out six.
The Regional portion of the tournament consists of eight teams in a double-elimination format. To see the Maroons' Regional Bracket, Click HERE
For More information on the NCAA Tournament, click HERE. For more information on the regional tournament at CNU, click HERE
--- This release is
courtesy of the Roanoke College sports information department.