TYLER, Texas — Greta Wilker’s two-out double in the bottom of the eighth inning propelled No. 3 seed Emory University past Eastern Connecticut State, 3-2, and into Monday’s best-of-three NCAA Division III championship series at Suddenlink Field.
The (39-12) Eagles will face No. 4 seed Texas Lutheran, who defeated Trine, 6-3, earlier Sunday to punch their own ticket to the finals.
Sarah Katz opened the final inning for Emory with a base hit, and promptly traded places with Cassie Baca on a fielder’s choice. Sami Feller then traded places on the bases with Baca before Wilker delivered the game-winner.
No. 8 seed Eastern (36-13) opened the scoring in the top of the first, when NFCA All-American Morgan Bolduk doubled and scored on Julia SanGiovanni’s single to right. The Warriors added an insurance run in the fifth on Megan Hodgdon’s homer to left.
But Emory got going late, first scoring twice in the seventh on a Krista Colussi double to extend the game, then winning it with Wilker’s double in the first additional frame.
Toko Miller limited the Warriors to just five hits in a complete-game effort, while Bolduk scattered eight hits over 7.2 innings in the season-ending loss for Eastern, who beat both top seed St. Thomas and No. 2 seed Illinois Wesleyan at the tournament.
Texas Lutheran 6, Trine 3
NFCA All-American Kelly Jurden, Casey Martin and Rebecca Snow had two hits apiece, and the Bulldogs scored two unearned runs in the fifth to remain unbeaten in three games in Tyler.
In the fifth, Martin reached on an error and scored on Snow’s double. Skylar Ouellette followed with a double of her own, and scored, after Cates flied out, when Madisyn Cates reached on an error.
Texas Lutheran (38-8) added two more runs in the sixth. Haley Padilla opened the inning with a pinch-hit walk and was replaced by Deanna Hernandez. Cassie Roche sacrificed her to second, and Jurden singled her to third.
After New Balance/NFCA Golden Shoe winner Jurden stole second and Martin grounded out, Snow singled up the middle to score both runners.
Michaela Hartline, who had two homers Saturday, hit a two-run blast Sunday in the fourth that reclaimed the lead for Trine (37-8). The Thunder had jumped out to a 1-0 edge in the first on Lexi Clark’s single that scored Lainey McCue, who had led off with a walk, moved to second on a fielder’s choice and advanced to third on an error.
Texas Lutheran jumped ahead, briefly, with two runs in the third. Martin singled home Roche, who had walked, stole second and advanced to third on Jurden’s single to left.
After Jurden was thrown out at the plate trying to score, Cates doubled in Martin with the second run.
Kayla Oliveira and Chassety Raines combined to strike out 10 and limit the powerful Thunder to five hits in the victory.