The 2013 NCAC Softball Tournament is set for Friday and Saturday, May 3-4, at DePauw University. The Tigers earned the right to host after winning the NCAC championship with a regular season mark of 13-3 in league play. 2013 marks the first NCAC softball title for DePauw.
As the top seed, DePauw (13-4, 19-15) meets fourth-seeded Allegheny (10-6, 18-17) in the opening round of the double elimination tournament on Friday at 12:00 PM. Second-seeded Wittenberg (10-6, 20-11) opens the tournament on Friday morning at 10:00 AM with a showdown against third-seeded Kenyon (10-6, 22-13).
The double-elimination tournament continues on Friday afternoon with the winners of the days' first two games squaring off for a slot in the championship round at 2:00 PM, while the losers of the opening round games will meet on Friday at 4:00 PM in an elimination game, with the winner moving on to face the loser of Friday's third game at 11:00 AM on Saturday morning to determine the final slot in the championship round. Saturday's championship round will be played at 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM (if necessary).
Since the inception of the NCAC Softball Tournament in the 2001 season, Denison has claimed six tournament titles (2001-02, '06, '08, '10, '12). Allegheny is second with three tourney titles (2004-05, '07), Hiram has won two titles (2009, '11) and Wittenberg secured the tournament title in the 2003 season.
ALLEGHENY closed out the NCAC slate by going 3-1 on the week, sweeping Hiram on Thursday before splitting with Ohio Wesleyan on Saturday. In the Hiram twinbill, Allegheny smacked 24 hits, including four doubles and four home runs, establishing a new program record with 27 homers on the year. Katrina George (New Kensington, PA/Valley) homered in each end of the twinbill, while Caitlin Nealer (New Kensington, PA/Valley) earned complete game wins in both sets. After seeing Ohio Wesleyan rally for a 10-inning win in Saturday's opener, Allegheny regrouped to win the nightcap, 5-2, behind three RBI from Maureen Pallone (New Kensington, PA/Valley).
DENISON went 4-2 in six conference games last week. Denison split doubleheaders with Wooster and Kenyon before sweeping a twinbill at Hiram in their NCAC finale on Saturday. Gretchen Staubach (Madeira, OH/Madeira) hit .474 with a .632 slugging percentage in six starts, while Meghan Edwards (Morton Grove, IL/Loyola Academy) and Rachel Laughlin (Winter Park, FL/Lake Howell) each drove in five runs. Laughlin also hit two home runs in the sweep of the Terriers. Inside the circle, Rebecca Dyer (Farmington Hills, MI/Detroit Country Day) went 3-1 with a 0.80 ERA, 27 strikeouts and a .186 batting average against. In game one against the Ladies, Dyer tied the school record for career shutouts (16), co-held by DU Hall of Famer Courtney Zollars '02. Against the Terriers, she moved into second on Denison's career strikeouts list with 348. Dyer also picked up her fourth-career save in game two at Hiram.
DEPAUW won the NCAC title by three games which equaled the largest margin in conference history (previously in 2001). DePauw has won all 10 home games so far this season.
HIRAM dropped its final four contests of the 2013 season to close out the year with a 6-10 conference record, 10-24 overall.
KENYON split conference doubleheaders with both Denison and DePauw this past week. The two wins for the Ladies gave them their best record in program history (22-13) and garnered a spot as the No. 3 seed in the upcoming NCAC Tournament.
OBERLIN posted an 0-6 record last week. The Yeowomen close out 2013 with a record of 1-15 in conference play, 4-30 overall.
OHIO WESLEYAN split a pair of NCAC double headers last week, first with Wooster and then Allegheny including a thrilling 4-3 extra inning affair over the Gators. The Bishops end the 2013 season with a 6-10 record in league play, 10-21 overall.
WITTENBERG clinched an NCAC Tournament spot with a sweep of Oberlin on Friday before dropping both ends of a non-conference doubleheader to Case. In the clinching sweep, junior pitcher Rachel Ross (Westerville, OH/South) led the way once again with a two-hit complete game shutout in the opener and started for four scoreless innings for the win in game two. She delivered her own game-winning RBI in the first game, and now has victories in her last six consecutive pitching decisions and nine of her last 10.
Demi Hart (Shreve, OH/Triway) slugged over 1.000 (1.158) as she batted .526 with six doubles, two home runs, and nine RBI, while leading WOOSTER to a strong 4-2 finish to NCAC play. Among her highlights of the week, Hart accounted for the lone run after doubling in the 1-0 victory at Denison, a two-run single in the 2-1 triumph over Ohio Wesleyan, a two-run double in the seventh inning that allowed the Scots to overcome Oberlin, 4-2, and then a pair of doubles and a home run in the 9-1 rout to close the week. Senior Jenn Horton (Worthington, OH/Thomas Worthington) closed out her career on a strong note by winning two of her three starts, while producing a 0.39 ERA.