SALEM, Va. — Janet Nagle tossed a three-hit shutout as St. Thomas won its 40th straight game, a 4-0 win over Moravian Sunday night at the 2004 NCAA Division III National Championship.
Nagle struck out six in the winning effort for St. Thomas (45-4), while Meagan Hennessy gave up five runs on eight hits despite eight strikeouts to pick up the loss for Moravian (39-5).
Hennessy started off strong against the top-hitting team in the tournament, striking out five of the first nine batters she faced. The 10th Tommie to step to the plate against her struck big, however, as Nikki Conway launched a towering home run to give St. Thomas the 1-0 lead.
The Tommies extended the lead in the next frame as Kristi Huegel, who went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored, led off with a double and scored on a Katie Wiberg ground ball in front of the plate.
Moravian’s best chance to get on the board came in the bottom of the fifth as back to back singles by Lauren Homa and Jessica Esposito put runners at second and third with one out. Nagle silenced the threat, however, as she got Krissy Cianfichi and Heather Bortz to strikeout.
The Tommies took the momentum into the sixth as they loaded the bases with no outs. Hennessy got a pair of come-backers to get the first two outs at the plate, but Carrie Embree, the ninth hitter in the order, delivered a double to right that scored Mandy Bowlby and Wiberg to make it a 4-0 game.
The Tommies added an insurance run in the seventh as Michelle Wong led off with a single and later scored on Huegel’s second hit of the game, a single over shortstop Heather Bortz’s head into left field.
St. Thomas' 40-game win streak ties the second-longest streak in NCAA all-division history. It matches Kennesaw State's 1995 win streak and falls just seven victories behind Arizona's 47-consecutive wins compiled in 1997.
Moravian will face the winner of Sunday’s nightcap between Muskingum and Salisbury Monday at Noon EDT. St. Thomas advances to Monday’s 2:30 p.m. EDT championship game.
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