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Softball moves to winner's bracket of SLIAC tournament

Courtesy of Brian Lovellette / SLIAC
Courtesy of Brian Lovellette / SLIAC

FULTON, Mo. - The softball team advanced to the winner's bracket in the SLIAC tournament with a 4-2 victory over Iowa Wesleyan in the opening game of the tourney.  Greenville got all the runs they needed in the first inning, and Caitie Opp delivered a complete game pitching effort in the win.

Greenville and Iowa Wesleyan played in a doubleheader earlier in the season, and IWU took both ends of the doubleheader.  This time, however, the No. 3 seeded Panthers displayed their postseason experience, gaining three runs in the opening inning and setting the tone for a game that ended in their favor.

In the first inning, leadoff batter Kayla Zimmerman began the game with an infield single and stole second.  Megan Barrett followed with a base hit and Zimmerman scored on an error.

Beth Mersinger stepped to the plate and belted a two-run home run to provide a 3-0 lead.

Greenville added a fourth run in the third inning after Zimmerman singled again and swiped second base.  Barrett advanced Zimmerman to third with a groundout, and Deidra Holzhauer delivered a run-scoring single.

IWU made the score 4-1 with a run in the bottom of the fourth and added another run in the bottom of the seventh.  The game concluded with runners on first and third when Opp struck out the Tigers leadoff hitter to end the game.

Zimmerman went 4-for-4 in the game with a pair of runs scored.

Barrett was 2-for-3 with a run scored.

Opp completed the game in the circle with seven innings pitched.  She also allowed two runs on seven hits and provided two strikeouts.

The Panthers (21-12) face Eureka, who defeated Spalding 7-4, in Saturday's winner's game at 11 a.m.  Greenville split games with Eureka on the road earlier this season.