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St. Thomas Escapes Scare Against No. 6-seed Williams in Opening Round

NCAA Division III national championship coverage 

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Carrie Embree's RBI hit in the sixth inning broke a 3-3 tie and a two-out wild pitch scored an insurance run as St. Thomas topped Williams College 5-3 in Friday's first-round softball game at the Division III national championship. 

The top-ranked Tommies (46-2) advance to a 5:30 p.m. winners' bracket game Saturday vs. the Muskingum-Linfield winner. St. Thomas ran its postseason win streak to 28, including 19 NCAA playoff victories. 

Janet Nagle extended her career postseason record to 23-0 as she worked the last four innings and allowed an unearned run, two hits, no walks with three strikeouts. Maria Bye allowed one earned run and one hit in the first three innings. 

Embree, who was named to Division III All-America team Thursday, went 2-for-2 with two walks, an RBI and one run. Fiona Lodge scored the go-ahead run in the sixth after a leadoff single and also went 2-for-3. The Toms outhit Williams 7-3 but the Toms had four errors. 

UST left the bases loaded in the fifth inning with no runs. In the sixth, Lodge singled and one out later took second on a wild pitch. Pinch hitter Colleen Owen reached on an error, and Embree's single scored Lodge for a 4-3 lead. After Conway popped out, pinch runner Missy Bruggeman scored on a passed ball. 

St. Thomas took a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Embree led off with a double and took third on a passed ball. Nikki Conway walked and stole second. Bye bunted home one run and Conway scored on a throwing error. Ashley Carlblom's single made it 3-0. 

Williams answered with a two-run homer in the top of the second inning, and a two-out run in the fifth inning on a throwing error. 

St. Thomas plays the Muskingum-Linfield winner Saturday at 5:30, and Williams plays the loser at 12:30.