Athletic Event

NJCAA Division II National Championship Tournament

Chiefs hold off Mercyhurst, earn first ever softball win at National Tournament

Chiefs hold off Mercyhurst, earn first ever softball win at National Tournament

Conference: No

Opponent: #12 Mercyhurst (PA.) North East (42-9)
8 - 5 (W)

Waubonsee Community College’s softball team staved off elimination at the 2017 NJCAA Division II National Championship Tournament. The Chiefs scored an impressive 8-5 win over 12th seeded Mercyhurst (PA.) North East on Thursday afternoon. Waubonsee (37-19) moves on to play the loser between third-seeded Phoenix (AZ.) College (52-6) and 11th seeded Lansing (MI.) Community College (41-13) in another elimination contest at 5:30 p.m. (CT) later today. The 13th seeded Chiefs, making their first appearance ever at the 16-team, double-elimination tournament, dropped their opening game 7-4 to defending National Champion LSU-Eunice on Wednesday afternoon.

In their win over Mercyhurst (42-10) the Chiefs scored three times in the bottom of the first and two more in the second to grab the early lead. Courtni Neubauer lead off with a double and advanced to third on a single by Megan Arcivar. Nicole Krupp walked to load the bases with one out before Alycia DeLuca smacked a two-run double. Liz Gagnon then delivered a two-out single to drive home Krupp. In the Chiefs’ second Ally Miller lead off with a walk and Neubauer followed with a bunt base hit. Arcivar then reached base safely on another successful bunt to load the bases. Two batters later Krupp ripped a one-out single to score two more and knock out the Saints’ starting pitcher Ashlyn Slusher. Waubonsee then broke the game open with two more runs in the fourth. Arcivar slapped a one-out single to get things going. Mackenzie Jackson pinch ran for Arcivar and promptly stole second base. Krupp then drew a two-out walk, and she and Jackson executed a perfect double steal before DeLuca was walked to load the bases. Mary Wackerlin then drilled a two-run single to make it 7-0 Waubonsee.

Meanwhile Krupp was stellar in the circle through four innings, walking two and surrendering a lone single in the second inning. The freshman right-hander ran into trouble in the top of the fifth as the Saints got on the board with back-to-back doubles. Three batters later a two-run single pulled Mercyhurst to within 7-3 with no one out and two runners on base. The Somonauk High School graduate then got out of the jam with two fly outs and a ground out. 

Waubonsee got one of those runs right back in their half of the fifth as Arcivar re-entered for Jackson and delivered a two-out single to drive in Megan Stricker who had led off the inning with a base hit. The Saints kept chipping away, scoring a pair of runs in the top of the sixth on a run-scoring double and an error to pull within 8-5. However, Krupp set down the Saints in order in the seventh to earn her 13th win of the season. Arcivar finished the game 4 for 4 with a run batted in, while Krupp, DeLuca and Wackerlin all drove in a pair of runs.