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TLU close to Super Regional title, must wait for championship chance Sunday

TLU close to Super Regional title, must wait for championship chance Sunday

Super Regional Tournament Page

MCMINNVILLE, Ore. -- The Texas Lutheran Bulldogs came within two outs of closing out the McMinnville Super Regional against Linfield, but the host Wildcats put up four runs in the top of seventh in the early game Saturday and forced a series-deciding third game at Del Smith Stadium.

After dropping the first game of the Super Regional 6-5 to TLU on Friday, Linfield rebounded with a 9-7 victory Saturday.

The series is tied at 1-1 and at 2-2 in the deciding game. The final contest was halted in the fifth inning when inclement weather hit the McMinnville area.

The deciding game will resume at noon local time (2 p.m. central) on Sunday. The winner advances to the NCAA Division III Softball World Series in Tyler, Texas. Linfield is a two-time national champion. The Bulldogs have never advanced to the World Series.

TLU had a 6-5 lead entering the seventh of the early game Saturday. The Bulldogs rallied from a 5-2 deficit with a pair of runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth.

In the fifth,TLU scored a run on an error and on a Skylar Ouellette (Corpus Christi/Gregory-Portland) sacrifice fly.

In the sixth, still trailing by two, Kassie Maddox (Midland/Greenwood) and Cassie Roche (Corpus Christi/Gregory-Portland) hit back-to-back solo home runs to put the Bulldogs ahead going into the seventh.

Linfield bounced back with a rally of its own. The Wildcats put four runs on the board in the top of the seventh. Paige Smotherman had a two-run single to put the Wildcats up 9-6.

TLU tried to stage a comeback in the seventh. The Bulldogs scored a run on a double by Madisyn Cates (Baytown/Sterling) and had runners at second and third and the winning run at the plate with one out. Linfield pitcher Maddy Podnar (1-1) was able to retire the next two Bulldogs in order.

TLU's record now stands at 34-8. Linfield is now 39-7-1.

The winner-take-all game sits at 2-2 in the top of the fifth with Linfield coming up to bat. TLU is the home team in the final game.