May 15, 2003
SALEM, Ore. - Pitcher Amy Rosson allowed just two hits Thursday while UC Davis hitters slammed three home runs - including a grand slam by catcher Megan Turman - as the Aggies beat Wayne State (Mich.), 9-0, in a first-round game at the 2003 NCAA Division II Softball Championships at Wallace Sports Complex.
The tournament's opening game - which last just under 70 minutes - was stopped in the fifth inning due to the eight-run rule.
The win propels the Aggies into Friday's winner's bracket second round where they will face North Dakota State at 4 p.m. The Bison beat defending NCAA champion St. Mary's (Texas), 5-0, on Thursday. UC Davis, playing its school-record 64th game of the season, improved to 49-15 and is nearing the 50-win plateau for the third time in school history. Wayne State, which advanced to the national tournament after capturing the Great Lakes Region last weekend, dropped to 39-14-1.
"Amy did a nice job," said UC Davis coach Kathy DeYoung. "They have a lot of good hitters on that team. But the big story was our hitting."
UC Davis had eight hits in the game, but it wasn't until the third inning when the Aggies were able to push across any runs. Left-fielder Jennifer Borrelli had an infield single to lead off the inning, junior Emily Hetzner reached on an error and designated player Susan Churchwell brought them both in with an opposite-field home run off Warriors starter Meghan Misiak, giving the Aggies a 3-0 lead.
"It felt really good because it was redemption for my first at-bat," said Churchwell, who struck out in the first. "The first at-bat was a battle and (Misiak) won."
Churchwell's 13th homer of the season set the table for a six-run rally in the fourth inning by UC Davis that started with two outs. Second baseman Kacey Sevier's blooper to short was mishandled by Sue Verbeem for an error, Borrelli followed with her third hit and Hetzner singled in Sevier. After Churchwell was hit by Misiak to load the bases, Turman put the game out of reach with a grand slam to straightaway center - her 13th roundtripper of the season - that gave the Aggies an 8-0 advantage.
Third baseman Lindsay Moore then capped the game with a homer to right, her 11th of the year. The three homers padded UC Davis' school-record total this season to 55, 13 more than the previous record of 42 in 1997. The Aggies have hit 10 homers this postseason.
The offense outburst was more than enough for Rosson, who gave up a leadoff double to Verbeem in the first, before stranding her at third base, and a single to center by Natalya Natyshak in the fourth. Rosson improved to 26-8 after striking out six and walking none.
"I didn't really feel that comfortable in the early innings, but in the fifth I started to," said Rosson, who retired 12 straight batters after Verbeem advanced to third in the first inning with just one out. Rosson got out of that early jam by getting first baseman Beth Berry on a popup and striking out Leah Androvick.
"All the credit goes to (UC Davis)," said Warriors coach Gary Bryce. "When they had their opportunities, they took advantage of them."
UC Davis advanced past the first round of the tournament for the second consecutive time after beating West Florida in its opener during the 2000 season. The Aggies are in their fifth NCAA Finals, having finished third each of the previous four.