ANGOLA, Ind.-- St. Thomas punched its ticket to the NCAA Division III Softball National Championship with a walk-off, 2-1 victory over Trine at SportONE/Parkview Softball Field.
Meg DuPuis' RBI-single scored pinch-runner Danielle Wigen from second with the winning run in the bottom of the seventh to give the Tommies the Super Regional title. DuPuis also scored the team's other run and stole two bases on the day. St. Thomas will be makings its first National Championship appearance since 2014. Freshman Lainey McCue (Westlake, Ohio / Westlake) hit a solo homer to account for Trine's run.
Starting pitchers Justine Robles (Long Beach, Calif. / Lakewood) and Kierstin Anderson-Glass traded zeroes through the first three frames before McCue's solo shot got the Thunder on the board. The freshman launched a 2-1 pitch to deep center for her second career homer and a 1-0 Trine lead.
The score would remain that way into the bottom of the fifth. DuPuis stole second with two outs after reaching on a fielder's choice. Later in the at-bat, DuPuis took off for a steal of third and was hit with the throw. The ball bounced away, allowing DuPuis to race home with the tying run.
A leadoff walk drawn by Chase Shortly set the stage for the winning rally in the bottom of the seventh. Pinch-runner Wigen advanced to second on Megan Bush's sac bunt. DuPuis lined a single to center as Wigen raced home with the winning run for the Tommies.
Anderson-Glass worked 6.1 innings for St. Thomas. The freshman allowed an earned run on six hits, did not walk a batter and struck out five. She was named the Most Outstanding Pitcher of the Angola, Indiana Super Regional. Anderson-Glass was to escape two-on, none out situations without allowing a run in the third and fifth innings.
KatieJo Delisle earned the victory in relief, striking out the only two batters she faced. She improved to 12-2 on the season.
Robles worked 6.1 innings in her final appearance for Trine. The senior allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits, walked three and struck out six. Robles concluded the season with a 1.56 ERA, the fourth-lowest on record in a season in team history.
Emily White (Fortville, Ind. / Mount Vernon) and Erica Robles (Long Beach, Calif. / Lakewood) each provided a spark at the bottom of the Thunder lineup with two hits apiece. White went 5-for-6 at the plate in the Super Regional.
Trine concluded the season 33-14 overall. The Thunder won its second Regional title in school history, tied for its fifth-consecutive MIAA regular-season championship and made its ninth-consecutive trip to the NCAA postseason.