GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Junior Erika Tatum (Bourbonnais, Ill.)
put the No. 4 Olivet Nazarene University softball team on the board early in
the Davenport Bracket of the NAIA Opening Round tournament. Tatum hit her third
home run in as many games in the top of the first to score junior Jordy
Truelock (Princeton, Ind.) and help propel the Tigers to an 11-2, five-inning
victory over Davenport University (Mich.) and earn a bid to the 34th
Annual NAIA World Series in Columbus, Georgia.
The Tigers (49-3-1) added six runs in the top of the sixth
inning to put the game out of reach for the host Panthers. Truelock started things
off with her second homer of the tournament, a shot over the right center field
wall. Then, with two outs Tatum and senior Cheryl Sendzik drew walks and scored
on a double to left field by sophomore Katie Megyesi (Washington, Ill.). A
Megan Butler (Frankfort, Ill.) walk and a single by Megan Semro loaded the
bases for the Tigers. Sophomore Lindsey Krippel (Fairbury, Ill.) then doubled
to left center to add two more runs. Senior Justine Phillips (Metamora, Ill.) singled
to left center to score the final run and put the Tigers up 8-1.
Olivet would add three more in the top of the fifth on just
one hit, a double by Tatum. The Panthers would add one run in the bottom of the
fifth inning, but it was too little too late to stop the mercy rule from going into
Junior Lindsay Stotler (Bloomington, Ill.) got the win for
the Tigers in the circle, throwing four-innings. She allowed just two hits and
one earned run. Senior Virginia McAndrews (Wheaton, Ill.) entered for the final
inning in relief. She saw four batters, allowing just one hit and one run.
Tatum and Truelock both finished the game a perfect 2-for-2
at the plate. Tatum added four RBIs.
Olivet will head make its ninth appearance at the NAIA World
Series. The 10-team tournament runs from May 23-29 at the South Commons
Softball Complex in Columbus, Georgia.