The Hope softball team continued their streak of prevailing in elimination games with three elimination game wins - including two against MIAA foe Calvin - to win the Regional title and advance to the Super Regional round in the 2018 NCAA Division III Softball Championships.
Hope (33-10) will host Case Western Reserve Friday, May 18 in the first of a best-of-three series with the winner advancing to the NCAA Championships May 24-29. Friday's contest will start at 4 p.m.
Hope, the MIAA automatic berth after winning three elimination games in the conference tournament, again tallied three victories in the NCAA Regional round to advance. After falling to MIAA foe Calvin, Hope then eliminated Franklin, setting up the sixth - and eventually, the seventh - games of the season against their MIAA rival. Hope then knocked off Calvin, 9-6 and 2-0, to advance.
Calvin (32-10) went 2-2 in regional play, starting with a 3-0 win over Franklin May 10, and then sending Hope into the elimination bracket with a 5-2 win May 12 after inclement weather cancelled play for May 11.
Saint Mary's, also a Regional host with Hope, went 1-2 to wrap-up their record-setting season with a 36-7 record. The Belles started with a 6-1 win over Mount Aloysius May 11, but could not keep momentum in dropping a 5-0 decision to Ohio Northern May 12, and a 6-2 contest to Case Western Reserve later in the day.
The finals, hosted by the University of Central Oklahoma and the Oklahoma City All-Sports Association, will be held May 24-29 at USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. All rounds will use a double-elimination format.