NCAA Division II Softball Championship
Rachael Darr has picked up her play for top-ranked Columbus State throughout the Peach Belt Conference tournament and South Atlantic Regional, and she continued her stellar pitching Friday as she helped CSU stay alive with a 2-0 win that eliminated LIU-C.W. Post from the 2007 NCAA Division II Softball Championship in Akron, Ohio.
Despite falling behind in a number of counts, Darr, who moved to 26-2 on the year, only walked two as she hurled a four-hit shutout that advanced the Cougars (56-4) into a Saturday game with either SIU-Edwardsville or Cal State Stanislaus.
“We live to fight one more day,” CSU head coach Tiffany Tootle said. “You fight every game to win. I said to our girls in the locker room, ‘We’re still not playing our best ball yet.’”
Darr was quick to give her defense credit for the solid outing, saying: “My defense was doing everything for me.”
Unable to get anything going in its opening-round game with Lock Haven Thursday, the CSU bats finally pushed across a run in the bottom of the third. Cassie Cooper led off the inning with a single up the middle and advanced to second on Carrie Mills’ groundout. Erin Brown followed with a base hit to shortstop, and Danielle Aszman put the Cougars on top with a fielder’s choice that plated Cooper.
The nation’s No. 1 team expanded the lead to its final 2-0 margin in the sixth. With one out, Diamond Sports Catcher of the Year Amber Lanier walked. Following a ground out that moved her to second, Tamela Bell singled down the left field line to score Lanier.
Samantha Yodowitz allowed just the two runs on five hits, but she fell to 31-9 as her team could only manage four hits while stranding seven on the bases.
“We put the ball in play, but we couldn’t get the timely hit,” Post head coach Jamie Apicella said. “We were taking some hacks, but they weren’t dropping for us. I thought we were on their pitcher (Darr) today.”
C.W. Post had several chances to get on the scoreboard, but none better than in the top of the seventh. With one out, Katie Younes walked, and Alyssa Gerish singled down the left field line to put the tying run at first base. Darr, however, got Yodowitz to pop out to third and Shannon Kulnis to fly out to center to end C.W. Post’s season at 45-17.