(Story Courtesy of Texas Lutheran Sports Information Department)
MCMINNVILLE, Ore. -- Eighth-ranked Texas Lutheran rallied from two runs down in the seventh, put up four runs in the 10th, and then held on for a 6-5 Super Regional victory over fifth-ranked Linfield (Ore.) Friday at Del Smith Stadium.
TLU improved to 34-7 overall and moved within one victory of advancing to its first-ever NCAA Division III Softball World Series.
Linfield dropped to 38-7-1. The Wildcats need two wins over TLU on Saturday to advance to the World Series.
Saturday's early game is set for a 1 p.m. pacific / 3 p.m. central start in McMinnville. The "if necessary" game would take place at 3:30 p.m. pacific / 5:30 p.m. central.
In game one of the three-game series, Skylar Ouellette hit her first career home run in the seventh to start the Bulldogs' comeback. TLU scored the tying run in the seventh on a Bianca Cerda fielder's choice RBI that scored Chassety Raines from third. Raines had followed Ouellette's homer with a double to center field.
In the 10th, Cassie Roche started the one-out rally with a double to left-center. Kelly Jurden then singled and stole second. Casey Martin singled to scored Roche and moved Jurden to third. After Martin stole second, Rebecca Snow doubled to center field to drive in Martin and Jurden. Ouellette singled home Snow for the Bulldogs' sixth run.
Linfield threatened in the bottom of the 10th with a Darian Stedman three-run home run. The Wildcats then put the tying run at second and the winning run at first.
Bulldog junior right-hander Kayla Oliveira relieved starter Jordaine Bishop with a runner on first and no outs. Oliveira recorded an out on a sacrifice bunt, issued a walk of her own, and then retired the final two batters. Oliveira recorded an out on a pop-up and then struck out the last Wildcat swinging.
Bishop improved to 4-1 overall with nine innings of work. She struck out three, worked around six walks, and allowed five earned runs.
Oliveira picked up her first save as a Bulldog.
Ouellette had three hits and drove in a pair for TLU. Six different Bulldogs scored runs.