RALEIGH, N.C. -- Muskingum took care of Ithaca mistakes early to cruise to a 9-1 victory in its first game in the loser's bracket of the Division III national tournament.
Several Muskies had strong games at the plate, as Muskingum collected the nine runs on 10 hits and two Ithaca miscues to hand starter Nicole Cade the loss.
Muskingum scored all the runs it would need in its opening at-bat, as Lindsay Bramhall got on the board on an Ithaca throwing error after reaching the bases on a single. A two-RBI single by Amy Iammarino, a double by Heather Fields and a two-RBI single by Jamie Echelberger would do most of the damage, causing Ithaca to replace Cade with Carly Myers still in the first.
Ithaca fought back with one in the bottom half of the inning after leadoff hitter Hannah Shalett was walked by Muskingum starter Erica Hoyt and then advanced on a wild pitch. Shalett would score on another wild pitch, but that would bew the extent of the Ithaca scoring on the day.
Muskingum added one run in the fifth when all-American Kari Hoying doubled to left; pinch-runner Ashley Carpenter would score on a Julie Johnston double pitches later.
Fields was a force at the plate for Muskingum, as she would rip a solo home run to add another run in the sixth. Johnston was strong as well, scoring Hoying on a double to right-center to close the scoring in the top half of the last frame.
Amy Mattin entered in relief for Hoyt in the second inning and would take home the win after giving up just two hits and one walk in four-and-two-thirds innings.
Muskingum and Linfield will fight for the chance to stay and play tomorrow in another elimination game tonight at 7:30 p.m.