Bloomington Regional Website
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Staci Doucette launched a two-out double in the third inning, part of a three-run burst that carried the Linfield Wildcats to a 3-0 shutout of the Benedictine (Ill.) Eagles Thursday in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Bloomington Regional at IWU Field.
Linfield (39-5), the defending national champion, advances to play Anderson (Ind.) Friday in a winners bracket game starting at 2 p.m. PDT.
Benedictine (33-10), which saw its five-game win streak snapped by the Wildcats, falls into an elimination game Friday at 10 a.m. versus Fontbonne.
Ace Lauren Harvey struck out five Eagles while scattering five hits on the way to collecting her 17th victory of the season against two losses.
Benedictine’s Brittany Adcox suffered the loss, giving up five hits and a couple of walks. Adcox dropped to 24-4 for the season.
In the decisive third inning, Grace Middelstadt (Soph., Battle Ground, Wash.) singled with two outs, then stole second base. Jaydee Baxter drew a walk on a full-count pitch, part of a lengthy at-bat that saw the senior all-star foul away a number of pitches out of play.
A timely single to left field by Emilee Lepp sent Middelstadt diving for home plate, and moments later, Doucette pounded a standup double to left that plated Lepp and Baxter in succession.
Jordan Mixsell and Ashley Garcia (Jr., Beaverton, Ore.) also picked up hits off Adcox.
‘CAT SCRATCH: Four seniors – Doucette, Lepp, Mixsell and Baxter – have started all 44 games at their respective positions. . . including Thursday’s blanking of Benedictine, the 'Cats have recorded shutouts in 18 of 44 games this spring. . . with her 67th career stolen base, Lepp moved up to No. 3 on Linfield’s all-time list, surpassing former Wildcats All-American Jenny Marshall. . . Linfield extended its regional playoff winning streak to nine games. . . a strong Linfield presence is evident in the grandstand with 15 of the 22 players in the travel party being represented by at least one family member. . . temperature at game time was 69 degrees. . . coming into the game, Benedictine had won 23 of its last 24 contests
IN OTHER REGIONAL GAMES: Host Illinois Wesleyan topped St. Norbert 4-1, Wisconsin-Eau Claire defeated Fontbonne 6-1 and Anderson knocked off Carthage 9-1.
Katy Brosig and Staci Doucette
Infielders team for clutch defensive play late in game
Director of Sports Information
McMinnville, OR 97128