From University of Chicago Athletics
In its NCAA postseason opener, the University of Chicago softball team rode a stellar pitching performance from Molly Moran to a 1-0 victory against St. Catherine University on Friday.
The Maroons (26-12 record) picked up their 10th win in the past 11 contests. The No. 25-ranked Wildcats fell to 32-12. The four-team NCAA Division III Championship regional is hosted by Luther College this weekend, with a double-elimination format.
The only run of the game came around in the top of the second inning. Senior third base Maggie O'Hara knocked a lead-off single and moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt. A single and steal by freshman designated player Danielle Allen put two runners in scoring position. Then freshman shortstop Emma Nelson plated O'Hara with a RBI groundout to shortstop.
From there, UChicago turned the game over to Moran in the pitching circle. The junior was sharp all afternoon and shut down the Wildcats' offense completely. Moran retired 13 of the first 14 batters she faced. Over the course of the game, St. Catherine did not reach second base.
Each time the Wildcats put runners on, the Maroons nipped the opportunity in the bud. They rolled a double play in the bottom of the fifth to end the inning, and a runner ended the sixth inning after being called out for leaving the base early.
Moran picked up two quick outs in the bottom of the seventh before issuing her first walk of the day. But the junior right-hander promptly struck out the final batter to preserve the one-run win. In the complete-game effort, she struck out eight batters while only allowing two hits.
UChicago was held to five hits on the day from five different players.