Kristin Erb found early trouble for the second straight game, but when it mattered most Sunday afternoon, the first team Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division II First Team All-American came up big and led Lock Haven to its second straight national title game appearance with a 2-0 win over Columbus State at the NCAA Division II National Championship in Akron, Ohio.
Erb allowed six hits and struck out nine as she defeated CSU for the second time in the tournament. CSU ends its season at 58-5, a program best. LHU will challenge SIU-Edwardsville, who defeated the Lady Eagles 4-0 Saturday night, at 11 a.m. EDT in a game that will be televised by CSTV.
The second-year standout for Lock Haven found trouble in the first once again. Erin Brown lined a double to the fence in left to lead-off the game, and Danielle Aszman followed with a ground ball that was misplayed at second base. Ginny Walsh the loaded the bases with her single to left, but Erb struck out Diamond Sports Catcher of the Year Amber Lanier and Brittany Leverett and got Tamela Bell to ground out to end the threat.
CSU wasn’t done, however, as the Cougars threatened again in the second after a lead-off double from Allison Paul. The nation’s top-ranked team was unable to score the run, however, as Erb coaxed a pair of ground-outs and a strikeout.
The defense’s hard work paid off beginning with a hot bat from Erica Eisenbise. Another second-year player for the Lady Eagles, Eisenbise put LHU on top 1-0 with her RBI double in the second, and she provided the final margin three innings later with her fifth-inning, solo home run.
Erb moved to 39-3 with the win, while Amber Browning finished the year with a 26-3 mark after allowing the two runs on five hits with eight strikeouts in the losing effort. Brown and Walsh both led CSU at the plate, picking up a pair of hits each in the contest.