Thu, May. 8, 2008 - [Softball]
Des Moines--Missed opportunities were the name of the game as the Lady Statesmen softball team was eliminated by Grand View 1-0 at the NAIA Region VII Tournament Thursday.
Penn, who closes its year at 34-21 overall, was led by a dominating performance from Ashley Johnson (Jr., Burlington, Southeastern CC). The junior allowed just one run (unearned) on two hits. She also struck out eight against three walks (all in the first inning).
Johnson was perfect in the second, third, fifth, and sixth innings and only gave up a double in the fourth inning.
The Lady Statesmen had numerous chances to give her run support, but came up short in bases-loaded situations in the fourth and seventh. Penn, who outhit Grand View 8-2, also had a runner in scoring position in both the second and third frames.
The game remained scoreless entering the seventh and final inning, but with two outs, Grand View's Carly Thompson reached on an error. Courtney Yacinich brought her home on the next at-bat with a double to the left-center fence.
Penn put together one last great rally in the bottom of the seventh, beginning with Katie Morgan (Sr., Weiser, Idaho, Weiser HS) reaching on an error. She was then moved to second on a base hit by Kim Coleman (Sr., Morton, Wash., Centralia CC).
The pair both advanced one more base on a sacrifice bunt by Ashley Larry (Sr., Papillion, Neb., Papillion-LaVista South HS). With the tying run at third, the winning run at second, and first base open, Tyanna Helton (So., Santa Rosa, Calif., Palomar CC) was intentionally walked for the second time in a row to load the bases.
Jamie Heins (Sr., Poulsbo, Wash., Olympic CC) then hit a towering fly ball into shallow right-center. The ball was dropped, but Morgan, who was preparing to possibly tag from third base, was thrown out at the plate for the second out.
The 2008 season ended on the next at-bat when Viking pitcher Kelsey Rethmeier struck out Marci Cline (Sr., Tacoma, Wash., South Puget CC).
Coleman was the team's offensive star by going 3-4 with a double, while Krystle Carr (Jr., Acton, Calif., Paraclete HS) was 2-3 with a double as well.
The loss ends the collegiate careers of six seniors, including Cline, Coleman, Heins, Larry, Morgan, and Ashley Provenzano (Sr., Lovilia, Twin Cedars HS).