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The Newman softball team ended its season on a high note, sweeping the Oklahoma Panhandle State Aggies in a doubleheader Sunday afternoon at Newman Softball Field. The Jets won the first game 4-0 before completing the sweep with a 3-2 nine-inning affair in Sunday’s finale.
All of the offense in Sunday’s opening game came in the third inning. With two outs, Brianna Hallacy gave the Jets some life with a single down the left field line, then stole second, and advanced to third on an errant pick-off attempt from the OPSU catcher. The Jets’ next batter, Amy Bullerman, was hit by a pitch, giving the Jets runners at first and third for Lauren Rorebeck, who drilled a ball to the left field fence for a double and pushed Hallacy across the plate in the process. Tracey Stefanski followed with a double of her own to left field, and allowed Bullerman and Rorebeck to score to give the Jets a 3-0 edge. Amy Schneider kept the Jets rolling, reaching base on a botched catch by the OPSU right fielder that allowed Stefanski to score, but was caught stealing second to end the inning with Newman leading, 4-0.
Newman ace Allison Thummel took care of business in the circle for the Jets, tossing a second-consecutive shut-out, and allowing just three hits in a complete seven-inning affair. Thummel walked five and struck out two as she improved to 4-22 on the season.
Rorebeck finished two-for-three to lead the Jets offensively, adding a run scored and an RBI in the process.
In Game 2, it took a few extra frames but the Jets were able to end their season on a high note, picking up a dramatic 3-2, nine-inning win over OPSU Sunday afternoon. Katie Traffas opened the Newman offense in the second inning with a single up the middle, then advanced to second on a Jennifer Stasiewicz bunt. A Steph Harshberger fielder’s choice moved Traffas to third, and a Brianna Hallacy single allowed Traffas to score, and gave the Jets a 1-0 advantage after two innings of play.
The Jets added another run in the third. Lauren Rorebeck led off the inning with a single up the middle, then moved to second on a Tracey Stefanski single to right field. Both runners advanced and Rorebeck scored when the OPSU shortstop misplayed a grounder. After three innings, Newman led 2-0.
The Aggies scored their first run of the series in the fifth inning, and added another run in the top of the seventh, sending the game into extra innings knotted at 2-2.
After both teams saw chances for the win slip away in the eighth, the Jets caught a break in the ninth. Harshberger led off the inning with a single through the left side, then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Hallacy. An Amy Bullerman ground out to first base moved Harshberger to third, and gave Rorebeck a chance to put her red-hot bat to work. She did just that, threading a ball through the left side of the infield for an RBI single that allowed Harshberger to score the game-winning run.
Rorebeck finished two-for-five with a run scored and a run batted in to lead the Jets offensively, while Stefanski finished two-for-four.
Erin Schmidt and Allison Thummel split time in the circle for the Jets. Schmidt pitched five complete innings, and gave up one earned run on five hits and two strikeouts, while Thummel pitched the final four innings, giving up one earned run on four hits with a walk and four strikeouts as she improved to 5-22.
The sweep gave the Jets a final record of 5-34, with a 4-17 mark in Heartland Conference play.
The Newman men’s golf team has received an at-large bid to the NCAA Div. II Midwest/South Central Regional, the association announced Monday. The Jets were the only team from the state of Kansas selected to participate in the regional tournament, and will join Heartland Conference rivals St. Edward’s, St. Mary’s, and Dallas Baptist in the 20-team tournament which will be played May 3-5 at The Territory Golf Club in Duncan, Okla.
The men’s golf team will become Newman’s first NCAA Regional team qualifier in any sport since the Jets were granted full NCAA Div. II membership prior to the 2008-09 athletic season, and will be led by junior Noah Smithson, who finished tied for sixth at last week’s Heartland Conference Championships, and earned Second Team All-Heartland Conference status in the process.
This will be Newman’s second visit to The Territory this season. The Jets participated in The Territory Classic as part of the team’s fall schedule, and finished tied for fifth in the 17-team field. Newman finished higher than Cameron, Central Oklahoma, and East Central, and tied with Midwestern State, all of which will return to the course for a second time at the regional tournament.
The top five teams and the top two student-athetes not with a team for each regional will advance to the NCAA National Championship tournament to be held May 18-21 at The Sagamore Club in Noblesville, Ind. The finals will be hosted by the Indiana Sports Corporation, the University of Indianapolis, the Great Lakes Valley Conference and the Hamilton County Sports Authority.
2010 NCAA Midwest/South Central Regional (May 3-5 – The Territory G.C. – Duncan, Okla.)
1. Ferris State
2. Wayne State (Mich.)
4. Grand Valley State (Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics Conference Champion)
6. Northern Kentucky (Great Lakes Valley Conference Champion)
8. Saginaw Valley State
SOUTH CENTRAL REGION
1. Abilene Christian (Lone Star Conference Champion)
2. Central Missouri (MIAA Champion)
3. St. Edward’s (Heartland Conference Champion)
4. St. Mary’s
5. Dallas Baptist
6. Midwestern State
8. Central Oklahoma
10. East Central