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Bye Powers St. Thomas to Leadoff Classic Title

2007 Leadoff Classic All-Tournament Team

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. -- Maria Bye’s three-run home run combined with Carrie Embree’s two-hit shutout led St. Thomas to a 4-0 win over Willamette that clinched the 2007 NFCA Division III Leadoff Classic championship for the nation’s sixth-ranked team. 

Bye’s home run padded a 1-0 lead the Tommies established in the bottom of the second on an error by the Willamette second baseman. 

It would be all the offensive support Embree would need as she struck out four in the complete-game effort. UST gave her a cushion, however, in the three-run sixth as Bruggeman reached on a single and Embree hit safely herself. Bye followed next and blasted a shot over the left field fence at Frank Brown Park to provide the final margin. 

She also helped propel the Tommies to the championship game as she held the bracket’s top seed, Louisiana College, scoreless over the final four innings en route to a 3-2 win. 

The tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, Bye picked up another RBI in the win over the Lady Wildcats as she put the Tommies up 1-0 on a single that scored Kaity Wightman. 

Louisiana College rallied in the top of the second to take the lead, but UST got a groundout and a steal of home to take the lead for good. 

In the other bracket action, Central claimed the silver bracket championship Sunday afternoon with a 4-1 win over Moravian. 

Amy Zellmer picked up the victory as she allowed a run on eight hits in six and two-thirds innings. 

Both squads fought to a stalemate through the first four innings, but the Dutch broke through in the fifth as Laura Anderson led off with a double and scored on an error. The Dutch followed with two more runs in the sixth as Afton Nelson tripled to score Dawn Nissen, and Tina Shimak followed with an RBI single that gave Central a 3-0 lead it would not relinquish. 

Bekki Kidnie went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored as Wisconsin-Eau Claire shut down Plattsburgh State 6-0 to claim the bronze bracket title. 

Mallory McKinney picked up the win as she hurled six innings and allowed two hits with five strikeouts. Many Tschermach added a pair of RBIs with her two-run triple in a three-run sixth that broke open a scoreless contest. 

McKinney helped her own cause as she went 2-for-4 including a double that set-up Kidnie’s two-run blast in the fifth.