ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. -- The Shippensburg Lady Raiders took advantage of hot hitting, including a key three-run sixth inning, to defeat the Western New Mexico Mustangs 6-1 and advance in the NCAA Division II National Softball Tournament.
Both teams wasted no time putting a run on the board in the first inning, with Shippensburg (48-5) striking first when Mary McKee hit an infield hopper that led to a Western New Mexico (45-13) fielding error and allowed Jaime Dacey to score from second. The Mustangs evened the score in the bottom of the frame when Cassidi Caringi drove in Danielle Harmon with an RBI single up the middle.
The score remained knotted until the top of the sixth when the Lady Raiders knocked in three runs to take a 4-1 lead. Beth Rudai led off the inning with a single to center field. In the next at-bat, Dacey reached safely on a bunt, then an errant Mustang throw to third base allowed both Rudai and Dacey to score. Two batters later, Brenna Eck homered to left field to provide an insurance run.
Shippensburg further padded their lead in the seventh inning, with Kristen Marll laying down a bunt and reaching base safely on another Mustang throwing miscue. Liz Corr then stepped to the plate and
blasted a two-run shot over the left field fence to set the final score at 6-1.
Kelley Tiesi (30-2) picked up the victory for Shippensburg, allowing one earned run on four hits and no walks while striking out 11 over 7.0 innings. Angela Slaugh (38-8) took the loss for Western New
Mexico, allowing four earned runs on seven hits and one walk while fanning 12.
Shippensburg will play again on Sunday, with their opponent to be determined at the conclusion of Saturday's games.