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SIUE FORCES WINNER-TAKE-ALL FINALE - May 14, 2006
Cougars defeat NKU, 8-0, in championship round of NCAA II Great Lakes Regional
 

NKU’s Ricki Rothbauer

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. - It will all come down to one final game Monday afternoon.

Southern Illinois at Edwardsville made sure of that Sunday afternoon by posting an emphatic 8-0 win over Northern Kentucky University in the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional at Cougar Field. The top-seeded Cougars, who were forced to come out of the loser’s bracket after a first-round defeat Thursday in the double-elimination event, will meet fifth-seeded NKU in a winner-take-all game at 2 p.m. (Eastern time) Monday.

The winner will capture the Great Lakes Region championship and earn a trip to Salem, Va., for the NCAA Division II World Series.

NKU entered Sunday’s championship round needing just one victory to capture the Great Lakes Region title for a third straight year. But the Norse were overpowered by SIUE pitcher Sabra McCune, who allowed just one hit and struck out seven in six innings.

After walking Ricki Rothbauer to begin the game, McCune retired 17 consecutive batters and took a no-hitter into the sixth inning with SIUE owning a 3-0 lead. Rothbauer spoiled McCune’s bid for a no-hitter with a two-out single to right field.

Heather Cotner was then hit by a McCune pitch to put runners on first and second with two out. Sarah King, however, popped up to second to end the NKU scoring threat.

SIUE responded in the bottom of the sixth by scoring five times to end the game via the eight-run mercy rule. Kaeleigh Rousey ended the game with an run-scoring double to left-center field.

McCune, who also had two RBI at the plate, improved to 32-7 with the victory. The Cougars, who had to defeat Southern Indiana earlier Sunday in an elimination game, upped their record to 51-9 this season.

NKU, the two-time defending Great Lakes Region champion, dropped to 41-20 this season. Norse starter Amanda Smith (24-11) allowed three runs and eight hits in 4 1/3 innings. Candace White pitched 1 1/3 innings and surrendered six hits and five runs, three of which were earned.

BOX SCORE

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