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SMITH’S RBI SINGLE GIVES NKU 2-1 WIN - May 11, 2006
NKU freshman snaps 1-1 tie in seventh inning with single to drive in Rothbauer
 

NKU’s Amanda Smith

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. - Amanda Smith pitched her way into Northern Kentucky University history last weekend by setting a Norse record for victories by a freshman.

On Thursday, Smith added another unforgettable moment to her 2006 season during the opening round of the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Region Tournament. This time, however, it was Smith’s hitting that produced the big moment.

Smith’s two-out single to right field drove in Ricki Rothbauer from second base with the go-ahead run as NKU defeated Lewis, 2-1. The fifth-seeded Norse advanced and will meet eighth-seeded Grand Valley State - a 3-2 victor over host and top-seeded Southern Illinois at Edwardsville - at 4 p.m. Friday in the winner’s bracket.

Rothbauer led off the seventh for NKU with a single to center off reliever Julie Wingerter. Heather Cotner followed with a sacrifice bunt that advanced Rothbauer to second, but Wingerter struck out Sarah King to bring Smith to the plate.

Wingerter jumped ahead in the count to 1-2, but Smith lined the next pitch into right field. Lewis right fielder Lisa Gartland made a perfect throw to the plate, but Rothbauer just avoided the tag by catcher Mallory Paine with a nifty slide to the outside.

Smith retired the fourth-seeded Flyers in order in the bottom of the seventh to notch her 23rd win of the season, but the final two outs were anything but easy.

With one out, Robin Martz fouled off a bunt attempt by popping up the ball behind the plate. NKU catcher Jenny Weis turned and made an outstanding diving catch to retire the dangerous Martz.

Paine stepped to the plate with two out and drilled a liner down the third-base line. NKU third baseman Cara Parker, however, denied Paine’s bid for an extra-base hit by hauling in the liner to end the game.

Rothbauer, Weis and Shatona Campbell each collected two hits for NKU, which improved to 39-19. The Norse had just one hit during the first four innings off Lewis starter Courtney Lyons, but NKU totaled eight hits in the final three stanzas.

NKU - which was 1-3 against Lewis this season entering Thursday’s game - is the two-time defending champion of the Great Lakes Region.

BOX SCORE

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