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|Indiana Wesleyan (42-13)||0||0||2||0||0||1||0||3||5||0|
|St. Francis [IL] (41-6)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||5|
|Bowling Green, Ky. Buchanon Park|
|Indiana Wesleyan||Pitching||St. Francis [IL]|
|Indiana Wesleyan||Indv. Stats||St. Francis [IL]|
|#15 Exposito, Kristen||Triples||None|
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. --- NAIA No. 9-ranked University of St. Francis' start to the NAIA National Tournament – Opening Round did not go as planned Monday afternoon as No. 4 seed Indiana Wesleyan University took advantage of five USF errors en route to a 3-0 upset of the top-seeded Saints.
That leaves St. Francis (41-6) having to battle back through the loser's bracket over the next two days if it wants to advance to the next round of the postseason, the NAIA World Series. The Saints will start that run Tuesday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. against No. 3 seed Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.), which fell to No. 2 seed Campbellsville (Ky.) 1-0 in the other first-round game. The winner of that game faces the loser of the Indiana Wesleyan-Campbellsville matchup at 5 p.m. Tuesday.
The five errors committed by the Saints on Monday were their second-most on the season and led to all three Indiana Wesleyan runs being unearned. Of USF's six losses now this season, five have come when the Saints committed four or more miscues.
Prior to Indiana Wesleyan (42-13) going up 2-0 in the third inning via the first two errors, the Saints had the initial opportunity to strike in the second inning. They put two runners on base with only one out and loaded the bases with two outs, but could not get the clutch hit. On the day, the Saints went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left seven runners on base.
Head coach Amanda Jensen's club looked to get right back in the game in the bottom of the third inning when junior Anna Wetherell (Rock Island, Ill./ Alleman Catholic) opened with a walk and went to second on a stolen base. Indiana Wesleyan starter Kaisey Carson, however, had other thoughts and was able to work out of the jam by retiring the next three hitters.
Carson (23-8) finished the day allowing only two hits, but did hit a pair of batters and walked three. Wetherell and sophomore Ashley Galason (Burbank, Ill./ Reavis) were the two Saints to register hits.
Two more errors in the sixth inning led to the Wildcats' final run, which scored on a sacrifice fly by Victoria Boyer.
Junior Morghan Dieringer (New Lenox, Ill./ Lincoln-Way West) (24-5) suffered the tough-luck loss for the Saints. She scattered five hits, struck out six, walked one and also got out of a fifth-inning jam after Kira Madl opened an inning for the second time on a dropped fly ball for a three-base error. Dieringer also just missed getting out of the third inning with only one run being scored. Kristen Esposito's two-out triple, however, derailed that plan.