DePauw (14-2, 30-13) captured its second-straight North Coast Athletic Conference softball tournament championship after defeating Denison (10-6, 22-19), 6-0, in game 7 of the 2015 NCAC Softball Tournament on Saturday in Greencastle, Indiana. Game 7 was needed after Denison earned a 8-0 victory over DPU in the first championship game. In game 7, Linsey Button (Ballwin, MO/Lafayette) went 2-for-3 from the plate with a double, two runs scored and an RBI and freshman pitcher Emma Baldwin (Oak Park, IL/Oak Park River Forest) took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and allowed Denison just two singles en route to the victory.
The Tigers opened the tournment with a 9-2 victory over Denison in the opening round on Friday, and advanced to the championship round after knocking off second-seeded Wittenberg (11-5, 20-17), 1-0, in the winners’ bracket later in the day. After losing its opener against DPU, the Big Red advanced to the championship round by winning back-to-back elimination games against Allegheny (10-5-1, 14-15-1), 4-1, and Wittenberg, 2-0.
Baldwin was named the Most Valuable Player of the NCAC Tournament, joining Tiger teammates Button, Alli Dennie (Fort Wayne, IN/Bishop Dwenger), Taylor Golden (Chicago, IL/Trinity), and Kahla Nolan (West Chicago, IL/Wheaton North) on the All-Tournament team. In three apperances, Baldwin posted a 1-0 record in the circle with a 0.00 ERA, 16 strikeouts and held opponents to a .095 batting average and just four total hits in 12 innings of work.
Three Denison players were named to the All-Tournament team as well, including Julie Rooney (Munroe Falls, OH/Stow-Munroe Falls), Lauren Secaras (Wilmette, IL/New Trier) and Sarah Herold (Orland Park, IL/Carl Sandburg). Also, named to the All-Tournament team were Wittenberg’s Loren Combs (Cincinnati, OH/Turpin) and Kaela Hughes (Columbus, OH/Watterson), and Allegheny’s Caitlin Nealer (New Kensington, PA/Valley).
The Tigers have been selected to host a Division III regional and will face Washington-St. Louis on Friday, May 8, at 3:30 p.m. EDT. With a victory over Wash. U., DePauw would move on to the winners’ bracket semifinal against either Trine (37-3) or Thomas More (26-15). Should the Tigers lose in the opening round, DePauw would meet the loser of the Trine and Thomas More contest in an elimination game.
The regional round will be held May 8-10. Four teams will compete at 14 regional sites and three teams will compete at two regional sites. The team advancing from each regional will compete in the super regional round May 15 and 16. The finals, hosted by the Old Dominion Athletic Conference and the City of Salem, will be held May 21-26 at Moyer Sports Complex in Salem, Virginia. All rounds will use a double-elimination format.