Sometimes it's just the way the ball bounces. For Ohio Northern, it was an unfortunate bounce; for UT-Tyler, it was a bounce that kept it alive in the Division III national championship in Montclair, N.J. The Patriots captured the 4-2 elimination game victory, and Ohio Northern finishes its season at 39-6.
With the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh, UT-Tyler was up by two with two outs. Danielle Goubeaux hit a ball that appeared as if it would find the 3-4 hole and score one and possibly two runs. Tina Mangola, who had reached first base on a walk, attempted to jump over the hard grounder, and the ball struck her on the leg, ending the game.
UT-Tyler scored primarily with power, getting solo home runs from Megan Roo Richardson, Kate Bell, and Whitney Wyly. All three cleared the fence in right center, with Richardson's coming on the third pitch of the game. The Patriots' final run came courtesy of an Amanda Busby RBI-single in the fifth.
"After yesterday, we were looking for an emotional lift, and that was just a big way to get the game started," said head coach Mike Reed about Richardson's home run.
Ohio Northern scored its first run in the bottom of the third after a two-out single by Cortney Cash. She would score on an RBI-double by Mandi Fought. The Polar Bears' final run was scored in the pivotal seventh on an RBI-single by all-American Liz Decima.
"We fought back in the seventh. We couldn't have asked for a better end, actually, except for the loss," said head coach Annette Hunt.
UT-Tyler will face the loser of tonight's Tufts vs. Coe game tomorrow at 1:30 p.m.