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Day 3 Notes - NCAA Division III Women's Softball Championship

Saturday, May 22 - Sunday's schedule, weather permitting, opens with a noon loser's bracket game between the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and Alma College (MI) ... The winner faces Chapman University (CA) at 2 p.m. and the winner of that game will play Simpson at 4 p.m. for the championship ... If the team emerging from the loser's bracket has already played two games on Sunday, and since by rule no team is forced to play more than two games in one day in championship play, the championship game would be played on Monday at 11 a.m. and the second game, if necessary, immediately following ... If Chapman comes out of the loser's bracket to play Simpson for the title, the first championship game would be at 4 p.m. on Sunday and the second game, if necessary, would be at 11 a.m. on Monday ... Simpson needs one more win to claim its second Division III championship in the last three years ...

The Storm advanced to the championship game with a 2-1 win over Chapman in the winner's bracket final on Saturday night ... The Storm scored the game-winner in the bottom of the seventh on a double and two Chapman errors ... Simpson took a 1-0 first inning lead on a bases-loaded walk to centerfielder Sara Brookheart ... The walk scored pinch-runner Kelly Behmer, running for Simpson catcher Michelle Fowler, who had drawn a base on balls to open Simpson's half of the first inning ... Simpson had loaded the bases on the walk to Fowler and bunt singles by Melissa Tracy and Kelly Hall ... Chapman countered with a run in the fourth ... Second baseman Amie Barnes lined a single off the glove of Simpson pitcher Kelly Schade ... Chrissy Lake sacrificed Barnes to second and Stephanie Carew's single advanced her to third ... A Simpson error allowed Barnes to score the tying run in the bottom of the seventh ... Chapman pitcher Linsey Buendia struck out Fowler to lead off the inning, but then gave up a double to Tracy ... Tracy advanced to third then Hall reached base on an error and scored when Buendia bobbled Julie Kostner's grounder ...

Simpson survived a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the sixth inning ... Storm coach Henry Christowski, facing Carew with runners at first and second and one out, decided to intentionally walk Carew to push the go-ahead run to third, but Chapman's Leslie Prochaska grounded into a force at home for the second out and Dawn Lopez grounded out to first to end the inning ... Asked later about his decision to walk the powerful Carew (who was batting .500 with eight home runs, 10 doubles and four triples entering the tournament) with first base not open, Christowski smiled and said, "Those are the types of decisions where you either look like a genius or an idiot. I'm glad this one worked out. I've looked like an idiot enough times." ... Chapman advanced to the winner's bracket final with a 5-0, eight-inning win over host University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire earlier in the day ... Eau Claire pitcher Heidi Bergstrom shut down Chapman's powerful bats for seven innings, allowing only two hits, singles in the first and seventh, before Chapman came alive in the eighth ... Carew's two-run single in the top of the eighth was followed by an RBI single by Prochaska, a run-scoring double by Molly Beckett, and a run-scoring safety squeeze by Dawn Lopez ... Eau Claire rebounded with a 6-2 win over Messiah in the elimination bracket, while Alma College stayed in contention with a 4-1 win over Rowan (NJ) in Saturday's other loser-out game.