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NCAA Division II National Championship - Championship Monday
NCAA Division II Championship
James I. Moyer Softball Complex
Championship Day Notes
Coming Back to Salem: The 2002 NCAA Division II Softball National Championship will be held in Salem, Va., marking the first time the Division II championship has been held at the same site in consecutive years since it was held in Shawnee, Kan., from 1992-94.
Three Consecutive First-Timers: Nebraska-Omaha's championship marks the third consecutive year the Division II softball national champion is a first-time champion. Humboldt State won its first ever championship in 1999, followed by North Dakota State last year.
Tostenson Makes Immediate Impact: In only two years at Nebraska-Omaha, head coach Jeanne Tostenson has already enjoyed tremendous success. She has led UNO to back-to-back 50-win seasons and a national championship. And oh, by the way, this is her first collegiate head coaching job.
Back-to-Back North Central Champions: Nebraska-Omaha becomes the second team in as many years from the North Central Region -- and North Central Conference -- to win the national championship. North Dakota State of the North Central Region and the NCC won the 2000 championship.
Two-By-Two-By-Two for Scheppers: Nebraska-Omaha's Sarah Scheppers may have established herself as the top clutch hitter of the 2001 championship. She hit two-run singles in 3-0 victories over Eastern New Mexico and Lewis, then capped UNO's four-run first inning in the championship game with a two-run double to the left-centerfield fence.
All-Tournament Pinch-Hitter: If there was an award for "Best Pinch-Hitter," that award would go to Erin Drinnin of Nebraska-Omaha. Brennin went 3-for-3 in the championship as a pinch-hitter before being retired in the championship game.
LOB a Four-Letter Word: Having won the national championship, Nebraska-Omaha won't be haunted by the number of runners they left on base during the championship. After leaving eight runners on base in its second-round 6-2 loss to Humboldt State, UNO flirted with a Division II record with 13 runners left on base in its 3-0 win over Eastern New Mexico. (The record is 16 runners left on base in a seven-inning game.) In Monday's semifinal against Humboldt State, the Mavericks stranded seven runners in the first four innings before breaking through with three runs in the sixth inning.
Scoreless String Ended: Lewis pitcher Kim Mackinson entered the championship game with a streak of 15 consecutive scoreless innings at the championship before Nebraska-Omaha put four runs on the board in the first inning. She finished the game with six consecutive scoreless innings.
DiMatteos Finish One-Two: Lewis head coach George DiMatteo's runner-up finish at the Division II national championship coincides with wife and College of DuPage head coach Deb DiMatteo's NJCAA Division III national championship. DuPage’s national championship is the second in a row and third in four years.
Lewis Graduation Ceremony: After Lewis' victory over Humboldt State Sunday, a special graduation ceremony was held for the Lewis seniors. Parents brought caps and gowns for the seniors and head coach George DiMatteo gave a speech and handed the seniors their diplomas. The commencement was a surprise to the seniors.
"Ironwoman" Kendall: Humboldt State pitcher Jessame Kendall finishes her career pitching in 135 consecutive innings and 173.2 of the Lumberjacks’ last 175. Kendall's 39 wins this season is a school record. Her career record is 131-25.
And She's Only a Freshman: Humboldt State right fielder Melanie Baker made quite an impact in her first ever national championship appearance. Not only was she the Lumberjacks' leading hitter with a batting average over .500, she also made two of the tournament's best defensive plays in right field. Against Bloomsburg Sunday, she triggered a 7-4-5 putout that prevented a triple in the seventh inning. Monday against Nebraska-Omaha, she made a running catch just as she crashed into the fence to prevent a home run.