Lexington, Ky. – The Transylvania softball team received another standout performance from junior pitcher Renae Morton as the Pioneers defeated the Illinois Wesleyan Titans, 3-1 in the opening game of the NCAA Division III super regional Friday afternoon at Hall Field.
Morton went the distance for Transylvania, allowing one run on four hits while notching four strikeouts against zero walks for her 21st victory of the season and 23rd complete-game performance.
The junior received timely run support from her hitting as the Pioneers grabbed a 2-0 lead in the third inning, and tacked on an insurance run in the sixth inning to pull off the first win in the best-of-three format super regional.
Transylvania improved to 35-11 on the season, while the Titans fell to 34-13.
Transylvania seized the lead at home in the third inning with two outs. With sophomore infielder Brittany Mumford aboard at first base via a walk, Bailey smacked a hard-hit double that clanged off the top of the left field fence and stayed in play to hand Transylvania its first run of the afternoon. In the following at-bat, freshman designated player Sydney Motell drilled another double to the deep outfield to score Bailey for a 2-0 Pioneer lead.
Illinois Wesleyan answered back in the next half inning, using a lead-off triple from Jillian Runyon to set up a sacrifice fly RBI by Sydney Alery to cut Transylvania's lead in half at 2-1.
Transylvania minimized the Titan scoring attack and carried a 2-1 lead into the bottom of the sixth inning. Bailey led off the inning with a base hit, and stole second base to move into scoring position. Poehlein smacked another deep Transylvania hit, this time to right field to bring in Bailey for the insurance run.
Morton finished off her complete-game win in the top of the seventh against the Titans, yielding a double before retiring her final two Titan batters.
By winning the first game of the Lexington, Kentucky super regional, Transylvania now stands one game away from its first-ever super regional championship and subsequent first trip to the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
The Pioneers are now 7-0 in the postseason, dating back to the opening game of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament.
Transylvania and Illinois Wesleyan will square off in game two of the super regional on Saturday, May 20 at 12:00 p.m. at Hall Field.
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