SAVANNAH, Ga. - Armstrong State University senior Jane Trzaska hurled a no-hitter in Saturday evening's 7-0 elimination win over Young Harris to keep the host Pirates alive at the 2017 NCAA Division II Softball Southeast Regional on Friday, setting up a showdown with Pfeiffer in the region final.
Friday's action began with seventh-seeded Pfeiffer edging sixth-seeded Young Harris, 2-1, in the winner's bracket game. Third-seeded Armstrong State then eliminated second-seeded Carson-Newman with a 4-1 win in the second game, with Trzaska's gem capping the day of action.
Armstrong State and Pfeiffer will meet in the Region Final on Saturday at 11 a.m. with Pfeiffer needing just one win while the Pirates will need to knock off the Falcons twice. The winner advances to the NCAA Division II Softball Southeast Super Regional on May 18-19 at the highest seed remaining between the two four-team regionals. Top-seeded North Georgia and fourth-seeded Limestone meet on Saturday in the Dahlonega regional at Noon on Saturday with Limestone needing one win and North Georgia needing two.
Pfeiffer (46-6) earned its berth into the region final with the one-run win over the Mountain Lions thanks to a pair of two-out RBI singles from Vada Blue Sherrill and Stephanie Fortner in the fifth inning. The two runs erased a 1-0 lead by Young Harris (43-14) on Jill Torres' solo home run in the fourth.
Armstrong State (32-12) then took the field in an elimination game with the Eagles (43-13) and took a 2-0 lead in the second inning on back-to-back RBI singles from Hannah Reppert and Macy Coleman. Reppert then delivered a two-run blast in the fourth to build a 4-0 lead for the Pirates.
Carson-Newman scored a single run in the fifth on Ashlyn Cooper's RBI single, but Pirate starter Tori Bates (4-1) limited the Eagles to just one hit the rest of the way to close out the win. Bates hurled seven innings of three-hit, one-run ball, striking out one to pick up the win and put Armstrong State into Friday's second elimination contest against Young Harris.
In that game it was all the effort of Trzaska (15-7), who hurled a 95-pitch no-hitter that included just one walk - a fourth-inning free pass issued to Torres. It was her second career no-hitter and the first seven-inning no-hitter for an Armstrong State pitcher since Annie Sells blanked Francis Marion, 6-0, on April 6, 2002.
The Pirates scored all seven of their runs via the longball. Logan Harrell hit a three-run blast in the third inning, then had a solo shot in the fifth. Reppert had a two-run shot in the sixth inning, then Coleman followed with a solo blast.