The Mustangs will play for a spot in the 2016 NAIA Softball World Series when they host Great Falls in Wednesday’s championship game in the Morningside Bracket of the NAIA Softball National Championship Opening Round. Photo / Gene Knudsen
Fifteenth-ranked Morningside defeated Great Falls 4-1 in Tuesday’s winner’s bracket final to advance to Wednesday’s championship game in the Morningside Bracket of the NAIA Softball National Championship Opening Round in Sioux City.
The Mustangs will take a 46-8 record and a seven-game winning streak into the championship game against Great Falls, which defeated No. 4 Campbellsville 5-1 in Tuesday’s loser’s bracket final.
The winner of the Morningside Bracket will advance to the 2016 NAIA Softball World Series slated for May 27 to June 2 at Morningside’s Jensen Softball Complex. Great Falls would have to defeat Morningside twice in Wednesday’s final of the double-elimination Morningside Bracket in order to advance.
Morningside’s Aubrey Voboril, the 2016 GPAC Pitcher of the Year, was in control all the way in Tuesday’s win against Great Falls. Voboril stymied the Argos with a two-hitter that included one walk and six strikeouts. The outcome made a 20-game winner out of Voboril (20-2) and improved the Mustangs’ record to 46-8 to tie a school record for wins in a season previously set in a 46-11 campaign in 2011.
Voboril was perfect through four innings before the Argos’ Hali Gruntowicz worked her for a walk to lead off the fifth inning. Voboril also lost her no-hit and shutout bids later in the inning when Alissa Keeler blooped a two-out single into shallow center field that plated Paige Bodner, who was in the game as a pinch-runner for Gruntowicz.
The Argos’ only other hit came in the seventh inning when Alex Lowry singled to right field and was thrown out at second base trying to advance.
Great Falls ace Keeley Van Blaricom held Morningside scoreless for two innings before the Mustangs broke through for two runs in the third when Rachel Koch blasted a two-run home run to open the scoring. Koch’s blast, her seventh of the season, came with Moriah Bohlmann on base after she had rifled a single to center field to start the inning.
The Mustangs stretched their lead to 3-0 in the top of the fourth inning when McKenzie Anderson led off with a single and came home on a two-out single by Mara Amsberry.
Morningside scored its final run in the sixth when Morgan Fogelman walked and came home on a two-out infield single by Elin Landgren.
The Mustangs collected nine hits against Van Blaricom (13-8), who walked one and struck out three.
Koch had two hits with a home run and single and Bohlmann also had two hits with a pair of singles.