BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — No. 4-seed Indiana Wesleyan has made an improbable run to the 2017 NAIA Softball World Series. IWU upset No. 1-seed Saint Francis (Ill.) 6-3 in the NAIA Softball National Championship Opening Round Bowling Green Bracket championship game to become the second No. 4-seed to advance to the World Series. All three Wildcat wins in the Opening Round came against teams ranked No. 11 or better.
- NAIA National Championship Opening Round – Bowling Green Bracket
- Score: Indiana Wesleyan def. Saint Francis (Ill.), 6-3
- Records: Indiana Wesleyan 44-13 (3-0 OR) | Saint Francis (Ill.) 43-7 (2-2 OR)
- Bowling Green Bracket Seed: Indiana Wesleyan – No. 4 | Saint Francis (Ill.) – No. 1
- NAIA Top- 25 Rank: Indiana Wesleyan – Receiving votes | Saint Francis (Ill.) – No. 9
- Location: Michael O. Buchanon Park | Hosted by Campbellsville | Bowling Green, Kentucky
- Indiana Wesleyan got the scoring started in the top of the 3rd inning with three runs. The first two batters were retired before a walk and four consecutive hits scored three for the early 3-0 lead.
- Saint Francis rallied in the 4th inning with a two-run double to close the deficit to 3-2. The next USF batter walked to put the go-ahead run at first with no outs. But Kaisey Carson escaped the jam with three outs that did not leave the infield.
- In the next half inning, Kristen Exposito provided much needed insurance in the form of a 3-run home run as Indiana Wesleyan led 6-2. Exposito has hit six home runs in eight games this postseason.
- The Saints made a game of it in the 7th inning. USF scored a run to make it a 6-3 score and had two runners on with two out. USF’s best hitter Kayla Garcia stepped to the plate with 11 home runs to her name. But Kaisey Carson earned a game-ending strikeout to send the Wildcats into a massive celebration.
- Kaisey Carson: W (24-8), 7.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K; 1-for-4, 2B, RBI, R
- Lauren Buckley: 3-for-4, 2 RBI, R
- Alex Springer: 2-for-3
- Kristen Exposito: 1-for-3, BB, HR, 3 RBI
- Kira Madl: 2-for-3, R
NEXT TIME OUT
Indiana Wesleyan makes the program’s first appearance in the NAIA Softball World Series. The 10-team double elimination tournament begins May 26 in Clermont, Florida. The World Series bracket will be released later this evening.