ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. -- Stacy Falkowski's RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning scored the game's only run as Caldwell eliminated Northern Kentucky with a 1-0 win at the NCAA Division II Softball Championship.
Caldwell's Danielle Guerra led off the inning with a double, then advanced to third on an NKU error. Jackie Velardi was intentionally walked, setting up a bases loaded, no-out situation for the Cougars.
NKU pitcher Krystal Lewallen (31-5) proceeded to strike out the next two batters and was ahead on Falkowski 0-2 when she delivered a low fastball that Falkowski belted just over the head of the second baseman. Pinch runner Danielle Payne then trotted in from third.
Caldwell ace Corinne Reiser (27-3) pitched a complete game, two-hitter. Lewallen was perfect through the fifth when Velardi singled up the middle. Lewallen struck out 15, including 10 of the first 12 in the losing effort.
NKU had runners in scoring position in both the second and fourth innings. Reiser forced a ground out and a pop fly to get out of the innings.
The Cougars (45-7) advance to face the loser of the Angelo State-Florida Southern game, while NKU's season ends at 54-7.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Nebraska state champion Papillion-LaVista finished No. 1 in the NFCA Fall High School Top 25 Coaches Poll.