Yellowjackets win UMAC softball title, head to NCAA tournament
Two wins over Bethany Lutheran on Sunday gave Wisconsin-Superior its second NCAA Division III softball tournament berth in three seasons.
SAINT JOSEPH, Minnesota — Wisconsin-Superior is back in the NCAA Division III softball tournament for the second time in three seasons under coach Melissa Fracker thanks to a pair of shutout wins Sunday, May 14, over Bethany Lutheran in the UMAC tournament final.
The Yellowjackets (31-11) are in the NCAA tournament for the fifth time in program history. They take on Concordia Wisconsin (37-3) in their first game Thursday, May 18, in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The other two teams in the four-team, double-elimination regional pod include host Wisconsin-Oshkosh (34-7) and Luther (32-8).
UW-Superior clinched the 2023 UMAC postseason championship and an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament on Sunday via a walk-off single to right field by pinch hitter Izzy Lingle in the bottom of the seventh inning to give UWS the 1-0 victory in Game 2 following a 3-0 win in Game 1.
Superior needed two wins Sunday after falling to Bethany Lutheran 8-7 in 10 innings on Saturday, May 13, in the UMAC semifinals. UWS eliminated Northwestern from the double-elimination tournament with a 7-1 victory on Saturday night.
UWS junior pitcher Tayler Kraemer was named the tournament's most valuable player after giving up five hits over 14 innings of work Sunday, pitching the entirety of both games. She struck out six and walked two on Sunday.
Sophomore first baseman Zoe Thompson drove in two runs for UWS in the opener via a home run in the top of the first inning. Thompson was 3-for-5 at the plate Sunday.
This week's regional pod in Oshkosh runs through Saturday, May 20, with the winner advancing to the super regionals May 26-27. The NCAA finals are Jun 1-7 in Marshall, Texas.