Northwestern softball season ends with two losses

Northwestern College ended its softball season with a pair of losses Tuesday at the NAIA Opening Round held at U.S. Cellular Field in Medord, Oregon.

Eighth-ranked Southern Oregon defeated Coach Chris Nachtigall’s sqaud 3-2 in a winner’s bracket game Tuesday morning. No. 15-rated St. Francis (Ill.) then avenged Monday’s 4-2 loss with a 5-2 11-inning win over the Red Raiders in an elimination game.

Northwestern trailed tournament host Southern Oregon 3-0 before scoring twice in the top of the 6th. Kayla Tindall walked with one out. Emily Bosch singled and Jensen Boger reached on a catcher’s interference call to load the bases. Cheyanne Wilcke was hit by a pitch to send Tindall home. Emma Schnell struck out, but Katie Elliott drew a walk with the bases loaded to force in Bosch. Madison Beaver grounded out to retire the side. Northwestern was scoreless in the 7th.

Tindall and Bosch each went 2-for-3 for the Red Raiders. Schnell was the losing pitcher, giving up two earned runs, six hits and four walks in four innings.

The Northwestern College softball team lost to St. Francis (Ill.) 5-2 (11 innings) in an elimination game of the Southern Oregon Bracket at the NAIA Softball National Championship Opening Round played this afternoon in Medford, Ore. The loss ends the Red Raiders tremendous season with a 36-13 record.

St. Francis broke a 2-2 tie with three unearned runs in the top of the 13th inning off Northwestern starter Kayla Tindall (18-7). Abby Balandis hit a leadoff double and went to third on a wild pitch. Kayla Garcia drew a walk to put runners at the corners and Balandis then scored after an error on  a ball hit by Jensen Tchorzynski. Ashley Galason followed with a two-run single to put the Fighting Saints up by three.

Northwestern tried to rally in the bottom of the 13th, putting two runners on base with singles by Emily Bosch and Emma Schnell and sending the tying run to the plate but St. Francis pitcher Morghan Dieringer recorded the final out on a pop-up to end it.

Tindall pitched outstanding despite the loss, giving up 10 hits and four earned runs in the full 11 innings. The senior walked three, struck out eight and finisher her brilliant career in second place all-time with 446 strikeouts.

Both teams had chances to win, putting runners on base several times over the final innings, but Tindall and Dieringer, along with their defense behind them, were able to escape without giving up a run.

Northwestern totaled nine hits, led by Madison BeaverJessica Sandbulte and Emily Bosch with two hits each. Sandbulte hit a solo home run in the bottom of the first giving Northwestern a 1-0 lead. Jensen Boger added an RBI single in the sixth, scoring Bosch who had hit a double, to tie the game at two. Tindall and Emma Schnell had the other hits for Head Coach Chris Nachtigall‘s club.

Dieringer (24-3) matched Tindall pitch-for-pitch, giving up nine hits, two runs and striking out eight. Galason went 3-for-5 with two RBIs and Garcia totaled two hits, including a solo home run in the second inning.