Three-Peat For Panthers

Three-Peat For Panthers

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Greenville University became just the third program in conference history to win three consecutive St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournaments, equalling the second-longest consecutive stretch. Greenville was appearing in the championship game for the fifth straight year and for the second straight year the Panthers won all three games en route to hoisting the tournament championship trophy.

Greenville jumped on top of the top-seeded Blue Jays from Westminster with two runs in the top of the first inning. Koontz reached with a one-out bunt single and moved to second on a two-out single by Kate Jolliff Rosado. Beth Mersinger followed with a two-run double to right center, starting the game's scoring early.

Westminster had their chances, starting with the second inning. The Blue Jays put runners at second and third but a stellar play by Panther shortstop Megan Barrett kept them off the board. Barrett ended the inning after diving to her right and making a strong throw from her knees to close out the inning.

The Blue Jays pushed a run across in the third inning when Emily Holloway led the frame off by reaching on an error. Amber Tepen followed with a double to once again put Blue Jays at second and third for the second straight inning. This time Madison Washington delivered with an RBI single to right that scored Holloway but Tepen was cut down at the plate trying to score from second; ending the Blue Jays threat and the inning.

Greenville responded quickly with an RBI single from Kayla Speaks in the next half inning, bringing the score to 3-1. The Panthers' inning ended in similar fashion as the Blue Jays previous one when a Panther runner was thrown out trying to score. The Panthers plated an insurance run in the fifth when Jordyn Wieland scored on a double by Becca Oldham. 

After losing a runner at the plate the Blue Jays bats were kept quiet for the next two innings when Panther pitcher Maegan Stone retired seven straight. The Blue Jays got back on base with one out in the sixth when Katie Price singled. A single by Mackenzie Myers put runners at first and second. Aubrie Vaughn delivered with an RBI single to right to bring the score to 4-2 but Stone ended the inning with a strikeout. 

The Blue Jays would attempt one more chance at a comeback, putting their first two batters on base to start the seventh. Callie Collier drew a lead-off walk and Holloway followed with a single, with both runners being moved over on a sacrifice bunt; bringing up the red-hot Tepen. Tepen, who had six hits during the tournament, got just under the ball and popped it up to short for the second out. A groundout would keep the Blue Jays tying run at second base as the championship game came to a close. 

Stone picked up tournament MVP honors after working all seven innings of the championship game, allowing one earned run. Greenville totaled 13 hits in the game with five different players tallying multiple hits. Joining Stone on the All-Tournament team were Megan Barrett, Kate Jolliff Rosado, and Caiti Opp. 

Mackenzie Myers led Westminster with two hits in the game and was named All-Tournament as were teammates Amber Tepen and Madison Washington. 

Also named to the 2018 SLIAC All-Tournament team were Webster University's Terri Dearth and Morgan Mansur and Fontbonne University's Melanie Russe.

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