The 2016 North Coast Softball season came to an end last weekend as both DePauw and Wittenberg we eliminated from their respective NCAA regionals. The year marked the first time in conference history the league sent multiple teams into the national tournament.
After dropping its opening game in the NCAA Division III Softball Regional on Friday, DePauw roared back with a pair of wins in the loser’s bracket, before falling to host and regional top-seed Illinois Wesleyan, 3-0, in the regional title game on Sunday.
On Saturday, sophomore Lauren Godden (Carmel, IN/Carmel) collected four RBI on three hits and scored a run to help keep DePauw’s NCAA Tournament run alive in victories over Hanover and Wash. U.
On Sunday, Illinois Wesleyan scored once in the second and twice in the fourth and held DePauw scoreless to claim the regional title with a 3-0 victory over the Tigers.
Godden along with freshmen Ashlee Gibson (Avon, IN/Plainfield) and Sidney Holler (Overland Park, KS/Shawnee Mission South) earned NCAA Illinois Wesleyan Regional All-Tournament team honors.
Godden hit .417 (5-for-12) on the weekend with four RBI, one run, one home run and nine total bases for a .750 slugging percentage. Holler collected four hits on the weekend and posted a .500 on-base percentage, while Gibson hit .125 during the tournament with one RBI, one stolen base and posted a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage.
DePauw finished the season at 31-18, while the Titans advanced to the Super Regional with a 33-10 mark.
Wittenberg dropped a tough 4-2 contest against Heidelberg in the opening round of the Alma Regional in Michigan on Friday. The Tigers got on the board first, as freshman Missy Lee (Lewis Center, OH/Olentangy) singled home Charlee Clark (Hilliard, OH/Davidson) in the bottom of the second inning. Wittenberg would then add a second run in the third when Casey Hobbs (Fairborn, OH/Carroll) drove in Loren Combs (Cincinnati, OH/Turpin).
The Tigers held on to their 2-0 lead until the top of the seventh, when the Student Princes managed to push across four runs and blank the Tigers in the bottom of the frame, winning the game. The loss forced Wittenberg into the loser’s bracket.
In Saturday’s elimination game against host Alma, Wittenberg once again built a 2-0 lead thanks to an RBI in the first inning from Hobbs and an unearned run in the fifth, but the Scots would rally to score three in the sixth and six in the seventh for a 9-2 victory.
Lee earned NCAA Alma Regional All-Tournament team honors after hitting .600 (3-for-5) on the weekend and driving in a run.
Wittenberg finished the 2016 season with a program best 32 wins, claimed its second NCAC Tournament title and sent the senior class out as the all-time winningest class in program history.