2016 NCAA Division III National Champions
@Patriot_sb to face No. 1 Marlins on Sunday

Saturday, May 27, 2017
by Wes Bloomquist || wbloomquist@uttyler.edu

TOURNAMENT BRACKET  | TOURNAMENT CENTRAL

OKLAHOMA CITY – UT Tyler will play Virginia Wesleyan at noon on Sunday at the NCAA Division III Softball Championship after the Marlins eliminated Illinois Wesleyan on Saturday at the USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium Complex to advance for a rematch against the Patriots.

No. 4 UT Tyler (46-4) is 2-0 in Oklahoma City after opening the tournament with a 4-1 win over No. 1 Virginia Wesleyan (50-3) on Thursday and then running away with a 13-0 victory over Amherst in five innings on Friday. The Patriots earned a day off with their 2-0 record while the Marlins advanced with a 6-0 win over IWU where Hanna Hull struck out eight and allowed only three hits. VWC scored four in the first and two in the second with Jessica Lindsey providing a two-run single to highlight the offensive production.

Amherst and Williams are set to play in the other elimination final on Saturday with that winner advancing to play St. John Fisher at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.

UT Tyler, which is the defending national champion, will need one win over Virginia Wesleyan on Sunday to advance to the finals while the Marlins would force an if-necessary game that would be played at 5 p.m. on Sunday with a win over the Patriots.

Alaina Kissinger (26-2) has led the Patriots in the pitcher’s circle with wins in both games where she has struck out eight and allowed only one run. Kissinger’s win on Friday improved her career’s record to 70-4 and she now has 392 career strikeouts. Cheyenne Thompson and Kaylee Prather were honored as NFCA All-Americas on Wednesday before the tournament and have led the Patriots in their first two games. Thompson is 5-for-7 with five RBI and three runs scored in OKC, while Prather is 5-for-8 with three RBI and three runs scored. Thompson hit a first-inning home run on Thursday in the win over Virginia Wesleyan and then went off for four RBI in the 13-run win over Amherst. Whitney Romero has two RBI with a home run in the tournament and Mel Hinojosa and Lexi Ackroyd have also brought home two runs each.

UT Tyler enters Sunday with a 15-9 all-time record at the NCAA DIII Championship. The Patriots have advanced to the past two finals.