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NCAA Div. II Championship: Angelo State advances at NCAA Division II Championship

 SALEM, VA – Angelo State and Winona State combined for 10 runs and 26 hits in the final game of the day on elimination Saturday. Angelo State prevailed by a 7-3 margin in the highest scoring game of the tournament thus far. 

With the victory, Angelo State (50-9) advances to Sunday’s semifinals. The Rambelles will match up against Alabama-Huntsville, and will have to defeat the Chargers twice in order to advance to Monday’s Championship Game. Winona State completes its 2009 season with a 50-13 record. 

The back-and-forth battle saw Winona State’s leadoff hitter reach on a hit in each of the first six innings. The Warriors opened the scoring in the top of the second inning. Catcher Kathy Crudo led off the inning with a single and was sacrificed to second by shortstop Callie Givens. Crudo would score from second on a two-out single by Jenny Wilmes, giving Winona State the early 1-0 lead. 

Angelo State answered in the bottom half of the frame. Left fielder Megan Pumphrey was hit by a pitch to start the rally and advanced to second on a Sarah DeMoss single. The pair advanced into scoring position on an illegal pitch. A Nicole Smith single scored Pumphrey and put DeMoss in position to score on a sacrifice fly by Kristen Frye to give the Rambelles a 2-1 lead. 

Winona State answered in the top of the third as Amanda Wilhelm led off with a single before being erased on a fielders choice off the bat of Mollie Bjelland. Bjelland advanced a base on a groundout by Kayla Lewis and came in to score on a single from Kathy Crudo, locking the score at 2-2. 

The Rambelles would not relinquish the lead for long. In the bottom of the third, Macy Baker poked a one-out single to centerfield before being tagged out on a fielders choice by Alix Dean. A Pumphrey single advanced Dean to second, where she would score on an April Haywood single to give Angelo state a 3-2 lead. 

Once again, the Warriors led off the fourth hit with a hit, this time a single from right fielder Terra Halron. Angelo State turned a double play to erase the runner, but Amanda Wilhelm responded with a single to re-start the rally. A Bjelland single set up an RBI opportunity for Lewis, who connected with a rope up the middle to score Wilhelm and tie the game once again, this time at 3-3. 

The bottom of the fourth saw Angelo State put up a one-out rally that started with singles from Sandy James and Laura Lopez and culminated with a towering home run to deep left field from Macy Baker to make the score 6-3. 

The Rambelles would add one additional run on a solo home run for Lopez in the bottom of the sixth inning before ASU pitcher April Haywood retired the side in the bottom of the seventh to complete the win. Hawyood improves to 18-4 on the season, pitching seven innings with three strikeouts, two walks and three earned runs on her line. Winona State pitcher Stacey Struzynski finishes the season with a 28-7 record. She spent six innings in the circle, striking out four and walking one. Each team had 13 hits in the game.