Coe College freshman right-hander Ashlee Simon (Riverside, IA) tossed a complete-game, two-hit shutout as the Kohawks posted a 1-0 victory over Salisbury University in the opening round of the NCAA National Championship Tournament.
After surrendering a leadoff single to Salisbury All-American shortstop Kelly Waskewicz (Olney, MD), Simon did not surrender another hit until the seventh inning - a streak of 21 consecutive batters faced between base hits. Simon, who threw 91 total pitches including 62 for strikes, improved to 24-4 overall on the year after recording only the second shutout of her collegiate career.
Facing a line-up that featured three Salisbury All-Americans in Waskewicz, junior catcher Lauren Brenneman (Westminster, MD), and senior left fielder Meaghan O’Gara (Northport, NY), Simon held the All-American trio to a combined 1-for-8 on the game.
Seagulls’ sophomore right-hander Kelsey Mills (Frederick, MD) matched Simon early in the contest, holding the Kohawks scoreless until the top of the fourth inning when Coe senior first baseman Amy Hanse (Marion, IA) doubled in the gap, scoring junior left fielder Chelsea Zaugg (Cedar Rapids, IA) with the game’s only run. In total, the Kohawks left nine runners on base and were a combined 0-14 during the game with runners in scoring position.
But Simon, who struck out seven without walking a batter, would need just the one run after escaping trouble in the seventh inning after surrendering a one-out single. The win improved Coe to 39-11 overall on the season, while Salisbury snapped a five-game winning streak and fell to 39-6.
Three Coe players recorded multiple hits in the game, as Zaugg was 1-for-2 with a double, Hanse was 2-for-3 with a RBI double, and junior designated player MacKenzie Lang (Urbandale, IA) was 2-for-3 with a stolen base.
Coe will advance to face Tufts in Game 8 of the tournament on May 16 at 6:30 PM, while Salisbury will face SUNY Cortland in an elimination contest at 1:30 PM.