The LadyStorm nipped Newman (Kansas) 2-1 and Northwest Missouri 3-2 Saturday to enter Sunday’s final day as the only undefeated team in the 15-team field.
Southeastern blanked Nebraska-Omaha 4-0 in Sunday’s opener behind Marge Johnson’s masterful pitching performance that included 16 strikeouts and only one infield hit with two out in the fifth.
Jaclyn Mullaney supplied the big blow with a three-run homer to center field with two out in the sixth.
Fort Hays (Kansas) jumped out to a 3-0 lead with a 3-run homer from Cortney Brown in the top of the second.
Johnson cut into the deficit with a solo homer in the second. Mullaney tied it with a solo home run in the fifth and Erika Bernal delivered the game winner with a 2-run blast high over the left-center wall to conclude a 3-run fifth.
Southeastern improved to 20-3 with the impressive sweep of the nation’s largest NCAA Division II tournament.
Coach Faubion said, “This was a great team effort. We had several kids step up when we had to have them. Everybody is playing well right now.
“Mullaney has been struggling and she came through with two home runs and started a winning rally Saturday. Morgan Miller had some good defensive plays and a couple of key hits.
“Erika Bernal is on fire at the plate. Marge Johnson came in with the bases loaded and one out. She delivered two huge strikeouts for us.
“We’re getting more settled on a lineup and everybody is contributing. This was a really good week for us with 10 wins.
“We host Central Okahoma Tuesday to open Lone Star North division play. It’s tough starting against a solid team and we would appreciate a good crowd.”
Benita Sanchez singled to center to open the SE first and pinch-runner Sharlie Staab scored on a rip to right-center by Bailey Mathes.
Johnson struck out the first three Mavericks on just 10 pitches en route to another outstanding performance in the circle.
Emporia State never advanced a runner past second base and only three made it that far.
It looked as if the Storm would have to make that leadoff run stand up all the way until the bottom of the sixth.
Jennifer Morales rifled a double to the gap in left-center, Laney Anderson went full count, fouled off a couple and drew a walk to bring up Mullaney. Mullaney hit a 1-2 pitch over the center-field fence to make it 4-0 and Johnson did the rest.
Johnson struck out the first Maverick in the seventh, got a roller to third for the second out and caught a sharp line drive to end the game.
Sanchez sparked the Storm with two for three, Bernal was two for four, Morales and Anderson one for two each for the winners. Kristi Goins, Mathes and Mullaney were one for three apiece with Mullaney driving in three with her first homer of the year.
Ashley Lynch was one for three for Nebraska-Omaha’s lone hit, a 2-out infield single in the fifth.
Johnson improved to 7-0 with the complete-game one-hitter, three walks and 16 strikeouts.
Fort Hays State 3
A walk, single and home run put the Tigers on top 3-0 in the top of the second.
SE’s Johnson drilled her 8th homer of the year in the bottom of the second. Goins and Bernal each singled in the fourth and Mathes drove in a run to make it 3-2.
Jami McAdoo started and pitched the first four innings before Amanda Tanner came on in relief to start the fifth.
Tanner retired the side in order, but three singles in the sixth, including an infield hit to shortstop, loaded the bases with one out.
Johnson was summoned from the bullpen and came in to strike out the first batter she faced on three pitches. It took her four pitches to whiff the second batter and end the would-be rally.
McAdoo returned to the circle to finish the game and pick up the save. Tanner pitched 1.1 innings of shutout ball to run her record to 7-1.
Bernal, Mathes and Mullaney were two for three each for the Storm. Bernal drove in two with her sixth home run, Mathes drove in one and Mullaney hit her second homer.
Goins was one for two, Johnson and Anderson one for three each.
Brown was two for three with a home run and three RBIs for Fort Hays State.
Newman scored on a walk, single and error at short in the top of the sixth.
SE tied it in the bottom half when Morales singled and scored on a huge single by Morgan Miller
The winning run came in the bottom of the eighth when Bernal drew a one-out walk and rode home on a double to left by Mathes.
The ball was hammered into the teeth of a strong wind and the left fielder crashed into the fence trying to make the catch.
Tanner went the distance, allowed one run on four hits, walked one and struck out five to make her record 6-1.
Mathes and Morales were two for three each and Mathes had the game-winning RBI.
Jill May led Newman with two for three.
Northwest Missouri 2
McAdoo pitched the first five innings with Tanner closing it out.
The Bearcats scored two in the third on one hit and two errors.
The Storm pulled it out in the bottom of the fifth when Mullaney singled, Sanchez walked and Bernal blasted a three-run homer to account for all three SE runs.
McAdoo gave up no runs on two hits, walked two, struck out three and improved to 6-2.
Goins led the Storm with two for two and Miller was two for three. Bernal was one for three with the game-winning home run.
Mullaney was one for one, Sanchez one for two and Morales one for three for the winners.
Kristen Hassel led NW Missouri with two for four.