Allegheny College (10-6, 21-18) captured its fourth North Coast Athletic Conference softball tournament championship after defeating Wittenberg (10-6, 23-13), 3-2, in game 7 of the 2013 NCAC Softball Tournament on Saturday in Greencastle, Indiana. Game 7 was needed after the Tigers earned a 7-4 victory over the Gators in game 6. In game 7, Allegheny jumped out to a 3-0 lead through four innings and held on for the one-run victory, as Caitlin Nealer (New Kensington, PA/Valley) collected her third win of the weekend.
The Gators opened the NCAC Tournament with an 8-0 victory over top-seeded DePauw (13-3, 22-17) to advance in the winner's bracket where they defeated Wittenberg, 8-1, to advance to the championship round. Wittenberg defeated third-seeded Kenyon (10-6, 22-15), 4-1, in the opening round before falling to Allegheny in the winners bracket. The Tigers then defeated DePauw, 6-5, to advance to the championship round.
Nealer was named the Most Valuable Player of the NCAC Tournament, joining Gator teammates Nicole Rodi (Chalfont, PA/Central Bucks South), Maureen Pallone (New Kensington, PA/Valley) and Belle Mazurik (Saegertown, PA/Saegertown) on the All-Tournament team. In four games, Nealer posted a 3-1 record in the circle, with a 1.08 ERA allowing just four earned runs while striking out 30 and holding opponents to a .198 batting average in 26 innings of work.
Four Wittenberg players were honored by being named to the All-Tournament team as well, including Rachel Ross (Westerville, OH/South), Kaitie Harrison (Springfield, OH/Kenton Ridge), Laura Rose (Riverside, OH/Stebbins) and Ashlee Wright (Kettering, OH/Fairmont). Also, named to the All Tournament team were DePauw's Haleigh Chasteen (Avon, IN/Avon) and Sammi Bell (Columbia, MO/Rock Bridge Senior), and Kenyon's Jamie Samuel (Malibu, CA/Malibu).
The Gators will travel to Angola, Indiana on Thursday, May 9 to play John Carroll (26-11) in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Trine Regional. First pitch is set for 2:00 p.m. With a victory over John Carroll, Allegheny would move on to game 8 on Friday at 4:00 against either Thomas More (24-17) or Capital (34-10). Should the Gators lose in the opening round, Allegheny would meet the loser of the Thomas More and Capital contest at noon on Friday.