No. 13 St. Thomas won the four-team Division III softball regional Sunday by defeating Augustana (Ill.) twice, 5-4 (nine innings) and 10-7 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. That capped a 4-0 run through the losers’ bracket and sends St. Thomas (40-6) into next weekend’s Super Regional series against North Central (Ill.).
Jenna Hoffman’s home run in the bottom of the seventh inning of the first game tied the score 4-4, before Bianca Peterson won it with a one-out RBI single in the ninth.
Peterson added a two-run home run and Emily Gregory had a solo homer to help UST build a 10-2 lead in game two, and the Tommies held on after a sixth-inning grand slam by Krista Watson made it close.
Two dramatic U finishes
The Gophers closed out their home baseball schedule by defeating Purdue 6-5 in the completion of a game suspended from Saturday, then walked off with a series sweep with a 4-3 victory over the Boilermakers, with Matt Stemper scoring the winner when Dan Olinger was hit by a pitch.
The Gophers improved to 26-20, 12-9 in the Big Ten, and clinched a berth in the conference tournament.
Two big swings of the bat pulled out the first victory. After Tony Skjefte’s two-run homer in the ninth tied it at 5-5, Bobby Juan led off the bottom of the 10th with a towering homer to right on the first pitch from Mike Lutz.
Sean McHugh hit a three-run homer when play resumed in the suspended game and drove in all five Purdue runs.
The Gophers trailed 3-1 entering their final at-bat in the second game, and loaded the bases on two hits and a walk. Dan Motl made it 3-2 with a sacrifice fly, and the tying run scored when Connor Schaefbauer beat out an infield hit.
• Augustana scored eight runs in the final two innings and downed host Winona State 9-8 to win an NCAA Division II softball regional. Jordan Schaeffer hit a go-ahead threer-run homer in the top of the seventh for the Vikings (46-13). The Warriors’ Jenny Nelson hit her school-record 20th homer of the season for Winona (48-9) in the fifth.
• Donald Constable of Spring Hill GC fired a final round 5-under-par 68, good for a five-stroke victory and his first Minnesota Golf Champions title at Golden Valley Golf & Country Club. Constable finished at 6-under 213. Defending champion Clayton Rask and amateur Jon DuToit both finished at 218.