ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla.--Tiffany DeVaurs hit a walk off home run in the eighth inning as Western New Mexico Mustangs took a 1-0 win over Caldwell in the opening game of the 2004 NCAA Division II National Softball Tournament at the Seminole County Softball Complex on Thursday.
The game was a pitchers' duel between the Mustangs' Angela Slaugh (38-6) and Caldwell's Corinne Reiser (26-3). The pair matched zeros through seven innings, combining for 32 strikeouts, while allowing only eight hits.
The Cougars (44-6) had the best scoring chances in regulation. In the sixth inning, Gina D'Amico led off with an infield single and Sara Neeley came on to run for her. Neeley went to third on a passed ball and a wild pitch. Danielle Guerra walked two outs later, but Slaugh got cleanup hitter Anna Dahl swinging to end the threat.
In the eighth inning, DeVaurs, who had missed a home run in the fifth by mere feet, launched a shot down the left field line off Reiser for the game's only run.
Slaugh tossed eight innings to earn the shutout, striking out 19 and allowing four hits and a walk. Reiser too the loss, striking out 13 in seven-plus innings and allowing the one run on four hits.
The Mustangs (45-11) advance to play the winner of the St. Cloud State/Northern Kentucky game at 4:00 pm on Friday. Caldwell drops to play the SCSU/NKU loser at 11:00 am on Friday.