SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- The SVSU Softball team finished its season on Friday (May 11) at the 2018 NCAA Division II Midwest Regional #2 Tournament. After falling in the opening game on Thursday against Illinois-Springfield, the Cardinals were in the elimination portion of the bracket moving forward. Saginaw Valley began the day with a 13-11 comeback victory over McKendree to remain alive but couldn't fight-off the #19 UIS Prairie Stars in game two, falling by an 11-2 count.
Game 1 - McKendree
After SV got an RBI single from Meredith Rousse in the top of the 1st, McKendree scored four runs to take a 4-1 edge in the contest.
The top of the 2nd inning had the Cards adding another run when Julia Miller had an RBI double to trim the deficit to 4-2.
That was answered with a pair of Bearcat runs to give the home team a 6-2 lead.
McKendree answered once more in the home half of the 3rd, using four Cardinal errors to score as many unearned runs and take a 10-4 upper-hand.
The top of the 4th is where the Cardinals would make their move, busting out the sticks to score seven runs and take the lead at 11-10. Rousse had an RBI single, as did Reeves and Corbett. A Shelby Misiak two-RBI double would add a pair and Danielle Hamilton pushed two runs across with her two-RBI single.
Courtney Reeves would later add a pair of insurance runs for Saginaw Valley in the top of the 6th. She blasted her 14th home run of the season to deep center field, making the score 13-10 in SVSU's favor. That home run gave her the solo all-time lead for career home runs with 29.
The Bearcats scored a single run in the home portion of the 6th to make the count 13-11 but that's all the scoring that would be done for the game.
Saginaw Valley pounded-out a season-best 19 hits, which made up for five fielding errors to help preserve the game one victory.
Lauren Bachert had a four-hit game, going 4-6 with two runs scored. Rousse was 3-5 with three runs and a pair of RBI. Evy Lobdell had three hits as well in five tries. Reeves went 2-3 with the home run, three RBI, three runs scored and was walked twice in the contest. Mouthan had two hits with an RBI and run. Misiak had one double that drove-in two runs and also reached on a walk. Hamilton had a hit and two RBI while Corbett had a pair of knocks with two runs, an RBI, steal and walk. Miller had the double and RBI as well.
Anna Conard (14-7) got the complete game victory for the Cardinals. She allowed only four runs of the 11 that were scored by McKendree, walking two and posting a trio of strikeouts.
Game 2 - #19 Illinois-Springfield
In Friday's nightcap, the Prairie Stars got ahead by a 5-0 count early in the top of the 2nd inning. They would extend it out to 7-0 in the top of the 3rd iwht two runs scored.
Saginaw Valley got it rolling a little bit in the bottom of the 5th, using three hits and an opponent error to score twice and make the score 7-2. Rousse drove-in Maddy Burgess and Bachert with a double for the runs.
The top of the 6th would see UIS put the game out of reach with four runs, extending the lead out to 11-2. That would prove to be the final score and Saginaw Valley would be eliminated from the regional tournament.
Rousse was 2-3 with a double and plated both Cardinal runs. Burgess added two hits as well in three trips, scoring a run. Bachert and Hamilton had the other SVSU hits.
Mikayla Alexandrou (9-10) took the loss pitching. She worked the complete 6.0 innings, allowing seven earned runs with two walks while striking-out four batters.
Postgame Interview - Todd Buckingham
The setback to Illinois-Springfield finishes the 2018 campaign for the Cardinals. The team will lose seven key seniors from this year's team, as Meredith Rousse, Courtney Reeves, Evy Lobdell, Danielle Hamilton, Anna Conard, Maddy Burgess and Lauren Bachert have all completed their stellar playing careers in an SVSU uniform.
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