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Day 1 Notes - NCAA Division II Women's Softball Championship, Thursday, May 20, 1999

Game One -- Nebraska-Kearney 4, California (PA) 0

Amanda Kelly pitched a one-hitter and Terrisa Eckmann's two-run homer in the second inning broke a scoreless tie. California starting pitcher Melissa Brooks left the game in the second inning after being struck in her pitching hand by a ground ball, but not before surrendering Eckmann's home run. Darcie Berry added a solo home run for Nebraska-Kearney. Kelly struck out 11 batters and walked none.

Records:

Nebraska-Kearney: 37-2

California (PA): 37-17

Win: Amanda Kelly (19-0)

Loss: Melissa Brooks (21-9)

Game Two -- Kennesaw State 12, Merrimack 1 (5 innings)

Kathy Le led off the game with a home run and Kennesaw State erupted for six runs in the first inning. The Owls sent 11 batters to the plate in the first inning as Le collected three of her four runs batted in during the inning. Krissy Streid added a two-run homer and Audra Thomas hit a 260-foot three-run blast to close out the scoring in a five-run fifth inning. Le, Streid and Thomas combined for 10 RBI. Stacey Dell'Anno homered in the first inning for Merrimack's lone run. Christina Caldwell scattered six hits for Kennesaw State.

Records:

Kennesaw State: 51-5

Merrimack: 42-5

Win: Christina Caldwell (27-3)

Loss: Jennifer Connolly (30-4)

Game Three -- Humboldt State 2, Ferris State 1

Jessame Kendall pitched a six hitter and sparked a two-run rally with a leadoff double in the top of the seventh to lead Humboldt State to a come-from-behind victory. Ferris State broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fifth when Jennifer Colvin scored from second on Theresa Coty's RBI-single. Ferris State starting pitcher Nadine Crowl had held Humboldt State to four hits through six innings before the Lumberjacks rallied in the seventh. Kendall moved to third on a sacrifice and scored on Jamie Peterson's sacrifice fly. April Tursky eventually scored the winning run as the Lumberjacks capitalized on two Ferris State errors in the inning.

Records:

Humboldt State: 51-7-1

Ferris State: 46-17

Win: Jessame Kendall (30-3)

Loss: Nadine Crowl (17-8)

Game Four -- Alabama-Huntsville 3, North Dakota State 2 (8 innings)

Tracy Porter's two-out bloop single to center field scored Mandi Brown from second base in the bottom of the eighth inning to lift Alabama-Huntsville to the extra-inning win. Alabama-Huntsville pitcher Wendy Hurst retired the first 10 batters before Megan Cooper beat out an infield single in the top of the fourth and eventually scored on a bases-loaded single by Nicki Almquist. UAH ralled in the bottom of the fourth on a single by Lane Davis and a two-run homer by Misty Gray. With one out in the top of the seventh, Gerice Olson drove the first pitch over the right field fence to tie the game and force extra innings. Brown doubled to right-center field with one out in the bottom of the eighth to spark Alabama-Huntsville's game-winning rally.

Records:

Alabama-Huntsville: 61-10

North Dakota State: 52-11

Win: Wendy Hurst (35-6)

Loss: Julie Fromm (34-7)

1999 Home Run Derby: It took only one game of this year's national finals to equal the home run total for all of last year's finals series, and the mark was surpassed in the first at-bat of the second game. Only two home runs were hit in last year's finals at Pensacola. Eight home runs were hit on the first day of this year's tournament. The Humboldt State/Ferris State game was the only contest without a home run.

Alabama-Huntsville Adds to Home Run Record: Misty Gray's home run was the 76th homer of the year for Alabama-Huntsville. The Chargers had already shattered the previous Division II single-season record of 62 , set by Wisconsin-Parkside in 1996. Fifteen of Alabama-Huntsville's 16 players have hit at least one home run this season.

Unlikely Hitters - Part One: Kenesaw State's Kathy Le and Krissy Streid may have been the two players least expected to homer for Kennesaw State Thursday. The two players entered the national finals with one home run apiece this season.

Unlikely Hitters - Part Two: Humboldt State's Jessame Kendall was 0-for-9 from the plate coming into Thursday's first round. Kendall reached base in eachof her three plate appearances against Ferris State, including the rally-sparking double down the right field line in the seventh for her first hit of the season. The Humboldt State pitchers started hitting for themselves after a late season injury to the Lumberjacks' starting second baseman.

Quotes of the Day:

"Amanda (Kelly) has carried us all season. She's really on top of her game right now." -- Nebraska-Kearney head coach Dan Simmons

"If we don't start swinging the bat, we'll have an early ride home." -- California (PA) head coach Rick Bertagnolli

"We played good enough to win tody, but we need to play better if we expect to stay here through Sunday." --Kennesaw State head coach Scott Whitlock

"We'll see what we're made of tomorrow." -- Merrimack shortstop Stacey Dell'Anno

"We've always been a come-from-behind team" -- Humboldt State pitcher Jessame Kendall

"We had the paper on the table. All we needed was the signature, but we weren't able to close the deal." --Ferris State head coach Keri Becker

"Coach (Les Steudeman) always tells us that with two strikes, just 'choke and hope'." -- Alabama-Huntsville outfielder Tracy Porter

"This was just a great college softball game." -- North Dakota State head coach Mitch Hanson