NCAA Division II Softball Championship
Ashley Price’s single with two outs in the 12th inning scored Jodie Ohlau with the game-winning run as SIU-Edwardsville claimed its first NCAA national title with a 3-2 win over Lock Haven Monday afternoon at Firestone Stadium in Akron, Ohio.
Ohlau got the two-out rally started for the Cougars (49-8), lacing a single to right off LHU starter Kristin Erb. Courtney Mall followed with a base hit to single, and then Price delivered the blow that completed the comeback and gave the national championship to a Great Lakes region team for the first time in Division II history.
“I was just looking for something I could handle,” Price said. “I knew if I got one out there, Jodie (Ohlau) would score from second.”
“This (winning a national title) is a difficult thing to do,” SIUE head coach Sandy Montgomery said. “I’m very proud of this team. They amazed me once again. They showed their resilience and never let down in a game that had some crazy plays. They battled like they have done all season.”
Kaitlin Colosimo stifled the LHU bats for the second straight time to move to 29-3 and earn Most Outstanding Player honors. She hurled the final nine innings, allowing just four hits while striking out 14. Erb finished the year 39-4 as she was struck for the three runs, only two earned, on 13 hits with nine strikeouts over the full 12 innings.
“I tried to take it inning by inning,” Colosimo said. “I just tried to do what coach told me and keep the ball low and hit my spots.”
The Cougars had to rally twice in the game, with the first time coming after Lock Haven (52-5) took a 1-0 lead on Devin Glezen’s two-out doubleto center that scored Julia Popovich.
SIUE answered right back in the top of the fourth as Kaeleigh Rousey led off with a double down the left field line. Following a fielder’s choice that advanced her to third, Rousey scored on a throwing error to second base by Amanda Roosa.
Lock Haven didn’t allow the tie to last long, as Ilia Lopez led off with a double to right center. A passed ball on a strikeout advanced Lopez and Sarah Noorris, and then with one out, Amanda Gutmaker lined a ball up the middle that scored Lopez and gave LHU at 2-1 edge.
“I’m very proud of this team for the great season they’ve had,” LHU head coach Kelley Green said. “They really battled today, and they have a lot to be proud of only losing five games all year and finishing as the national runner-up.”
SIUE continued to fight, and managed to knot the game back up in the sixth. Price collected her first of three hits on the day, singling through the right side. After pinch-runner Chaleen Rumpf was thrown out stealing, Libby Lenart singled to right field. With two outs, pinch-runner Haylee Eubanks stole second and scored to tie the game 2-2.