|Coe College (31-11)||3||0||0||0||5||0||0||8||12||2|
|U of St. Thomas (37-9)||3||4||0||2||2||1||X||12||15||2|
|Pella, Iowa Kuyper Athl. Complex|
|Coe College||Pitching||U of St. Thomas|
|Coe College||Indv. Stats||U of St. Thomas|
|#2 Allie O'Brien||Doubles||5 Players|
|None||Triples||#5 E. Barnes|
|#13 Haley Jones||Home Runs||#22 M. Bush|
PELLA, Iowa - The magical postseason run came to a close for the 25th-ranked Coe College softball team Sunday, as the 23rd-ranked St. Thomas Tommies beat the Kohawks 12-8 in the NCAA Regional Championship.
Coe entered the final needing two wins over St. Thomas, the same team that beat Coe Saturday 3-0, to advance to next weekend's NCAA Super Regionals. Without a loss in the tournament, the Tommies needed just one win on Sunday to advance to next weekend. Knowing what was at stake, the Kohawks quickly went to work in the top of the first inning.
With one out, Maddy Ryan (Marion, Iowa/Linn-Mar) singled to drive in Brianna Gardner (Princeville, Ill./Princeville). Haley Jones (Waterloo, Iowa/West) then hit a sacrifice fly to right field that drove in Allie O'Brien (Grimes, Iowa/Dallas Center-Grimes). Coe's final run came on a single by Maliah Fligg (Tiffin, Iowa/Clear Creek-Amana) to right field, as Ryan scored. The lead didn't last for long, as M. Bush hit a two-out, three-run home run in the bottom of the first to tie the game.
The Tommies took the lead in a big way in the second inning, scoring four runs on five hits and a Kohawk error. St. Thomas added to the lead in the fourth inning, scoring two more runs on three hits and a Kohawk error to take a 9-3 lead into the fifth inning. Needing runs to stay alive in the game, the Kohawks came together in the top of the fifth and went to work.
O'Brien doubled down the left field line to plate Gardner for the first run of the inning. With one out, Jones hit her 10th home run of the season, scoring O'Brien in the process. With the bases loaded, Sara Czachowski (Orlando, Fla./Francis Howell) singled to left field, as Madi Miller (Coralville, Iowa/West) and Brenna Winn (Walker, Iowa/North-Linn) scored on the play. The Kohawks left the bases loaded, but cut the lead to 9-8 going into the bottom half of the inning. The Tommies added two runs on three hits in the fifth and another run in the sixth on a pair of hits for the 12-8 victory.
Ryan and O'Brien led the Kohawks with three hits apiece, while Fligg had a pair. Gardner and O'Brien each scored twice, while Jones drove in three runs. Alyssa Olson (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Jefferson) took the loss in the circle, giving up seven earned runs on seven hits in 2.1 innings pitched. Olson struck out three and walked one. Maliah Fligg tossed the final 3.2 innings, giving up five runs (three earned) on eight hits, while striking out one. Coe had 12 hits in the game, while the Tommies had 15. St. Thomas had seven extra-base hits in the game.
Fligg and O'Brien were both named to the Pella Regional All-Tournament Team.
Coe finished the season 31-11 overall. The Kohawks return eight players that saw action in Sunday's regional final. Coe will be without the services of graduating seniors Mallory McArtor (Riverside, Iowa/Mid-Prairie), Gardner, Fligg, Winn and Paige Wieland (Riverside, Iowa/Highland).