BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – With the first pitch of today's regional matchup between MSOE softball and Calvin College, history was made. The Raiders appeared in their first ever NCAA tournament game, taking on the Knights in game one of the regional hosted by Illinois Wesleyan. That wasn't the only history made today, however. The Red & White can now say they were the first program in the school's history to win a NCAA tournament contest with their 7-5 victory.
No. 3 MSOE Raiders – 7
No. 2 Calvin College – 5
HOW IT HAPPENED
MSOE (34-10) started off this game in pretty much the best way possible. The Raiders put up six runs in their first at-bat, setting the tone for the rest of the game and putting Calvin (29-9) behind the eight ball from the start. Amanda Manssen (Bull Valley, Ill. / McHenry West) started off the scoring with an RBI single, but the big blow was when Kim White (Plainfield, Ill. / South) crushed a ball well over the left field fence for a grand slam. The team batted around, with the scoring coming to a close when Kara McKenna (Downer's Grove, Ill. / South) plated Emma Megal (Elm Grove, Wis. / Brookfield East) to make it 6-0.
Emily Wiederholt (Cuba City, Wis. / Cuba City) was once again dominate, keeping the Knights off the board for the 4.1 innings that she was on the bump. However, Calvin did make things interesting, mounting two different rallies to try and get back into the game. The Knights scored three runs in the sixth to get on the board for the first time, and then with nobody out hit a two-run homer to bring them within two at 7-5 in the bottom of the seventh. Lorrin Pondo (Bolingbrook, Ill. / Bolingbrook) didn't let that phase her, as she came on in relief to lock down MSOE's first ever NCAA tournament win.
The women's softball team was the 18th squad in school history to make an NCAA tournament, and were the first to win against their opponent. The closest the Raiders had come to a win was back in 2014 when men's soccer lost in a double overtime shootout.
MSOE STAT TRACKER
Emily Snow (Long Beach, Calif. / Millikan) – 1 run, 2 hits, 1 RBI
Kim White – 1 run, 1 hit, 4 RBI
Kara McKenna – 2 runs, 1 hit, 1 RBI, 2 walks
Emily Wiederholt – 4.2 innings pitched, 4 hits given up, no runs allowed
WHO'S ON DECK
The Red & White will be back at it again tomorrow, looking to advance to the regional championships on Saturday afternoon. Their opponent will be Illinois Wesleyan, who defeated their opponent by the score of 15-0 later in the afternoon. The first pitch is slated for 11:00 am. The winner moves on to the regional championship game on Saturday. The loser must play an elimination game at 4:00 pm on Friday to keep their hopes alive.