DETROIT - Swish and wish has been the story lately for teams matched against the Wayne State softball team. The Warriors are blessed with superior pitching thanks to Lyndsay Butler and Briana Lee. That makes for a lot of swings and misses and wishes of what could have been.
Friday (May 9), the Ashland University Eagles ran into that combination at the NCAA Midwest Regional Tournament. The Eagles, the seventh seed in the tournament, lost to second-seeded Wayne State, 3-0.
This is the fourth time this season AU has lost to Wayne State. The Warriors have shut out the Eagles three times. Ashland is 27-19 and has no margin of error now in this double-elimination tournament. On Saturday, AU will face Indianapolis in an elimination game. On Friday, Grand Valley State pummeled the Greyhounds, 8-0.
Wayne State is 42-9 and has a 17-game winning streak. In Saturday's first game, WSU and Grand Valley State will play. GVSU is the last team to beat the Warriors and that was in early April.
AU was limited to five singles on Friday by Lee and Butler. Lee (20-2) started and went 5.2 innings, allowing four hits. She walked one and struck out five. In April, she pitched a complete game shutout against the Eagles, permitting three hits.
Butler pitched the final 1.1 innings on Friday. She allowed one hit and struck out three. Butler threw 20 pitches and 16 of those were strikes.
Wayne State didn't have an easy time hitting against Ashland's Brittany Flanigan (5-6). Flanigan allowed six hits and she never gave up more than a run in an inning. WSU scored single runs in the first, fifth and sixth innings.
The Warriors scored in the first on a Butler sacrifice fly.
In the third inning, Emily Cava doubled to right center field to score Catherine Rayos.
The game's final run scored on an RBI single by Amanda Burnard. Burnard tried to stretch that single into a double, but was gunned down at second base by right fielder Shelbie Prince.
No AU player had more than one hit.
Ashland and Indianapolis have not played this year. Last spring, the teams met in Indianapolis in the finals of one of the Midwest Regional sub-regionals and the Greyhounds ended AU's season with a 10-0 win. The Greyhounds are the third seed in the region and are ranked 13th in the country.