Wildcats reach title game, but fall 5-4 in bottom of seventh

After beating Eastern Connecticut State to remain alive for the national title, Linfield builds a 4-2 lead on East Texas Baptist but can’t hold on as the Tigers rally to capture the 2010 NCAA championship. Linfield ends its season with a record of 42-7.

Softball update

Linfield took a two-run lead into the top of the seventh inning but couldn’t hold on, falling 5-4 to East Texas Baptist in the national championship game of the NCAA Division III Tournament Monday at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s Gelein Field.

The Wildcats outplayed the Tigers over the first four innings, but East Texas, perhaps more comfortable in the sweltering temperatures, had the Wildcats on their heels in the late going.

Rochelle Friend (Sr., Hood River, Ore.) singled on the game’s first at-bat and Linfield jumped out of the gates with a two-run homer by Staci Doucette (Soph., Vancouver, Wash.) in the first inning.

Baseball advances

The speed of Tournament Most Outstanding Player Tyson Smith (Sr., Dallas, Ore.) sparked Linfield College early and the team’s power hitters hit three consecutive home runs in the eighth as the Wildcats hammered the Mississippi College Choctaws 12-3 in the title game of the NCAA Division III Baseball McMinnville (West) Regional Saturday here at Roy Helser Field.

Linfield (34-11) advances to the NCAA Division III World Series May 28-June 1 in Appleton, Wis., for the second time, where the Wildcats will play the champion of the New England Regional, the University of Massachusetts-Boston. It is Linfield’s first West Regional title; the Wildcats went to the World Series in 2008 after winning the Central Regional. Mississippi College, which was playing in an NCAA regional title game for the first time, saw its season end with a 39-11 record.

NCAA Division III Softball Finals

USA Today feature on Linfield Baseball Coach Scott Brosius

Linfield baseball feature in The Oregonian

Follow NCAA Division III baseball results on D3baseball.com