ST. JOSEPH, MO. - Marian University pitchers Amy Tamer and Emily Gwaltney combined to throw a two-hit shutout against Park University winning 2-0 in an elimination game at the NAIA Softball National Championship Opening Round Park Bracket Tuesday (May 14) at Heritage Park.
The Knights (33-10 overall) advance to the championship game Wednesday (May 15) at 10 a.m. where it needs to defeat No. 1 seed Cal State San Marcos twice to advance to the NAIA Softball National Championship Final Site May 24-30.
The Pirates end the 2013 season with a record of 31-11 as they could not come up with a timely hit despite drawing five walks stranding seven runners on base.
Marian made the Pirates pay for a walk to Chelsey Hartman opening the game as she scored on a two-out single by Ebby Campbell for a quick 1-0 advantage and the eventual winning run.
The Knights scored another run after the first two outs were recorded in the third as Helen Rogers blasted the first pitch from Park starter Kelli Wenberg over the fence in center field for a solo home run increasing the lead to 2-0.
The Pirates' Kaily Purtle replaced Wenberg for the fourth and issued a pair of walks around a single by Jennifer Sears to load the bases but Purtle pitched out of the jam getting Hartman to ground out to third ending the threat.
Park had an excellent opportunity to get on the scoreboard in the fourth but left the bases loaded after Marian's starter Tamer and reliever Gwaltney combined to walk three batters. Gwaltney retired Shaya Kinsey on a hard ground ball to short keeping Park scoreless.
Megan Palmer started the fifth for the Pirates with a double to left and the team's second hit of the game but failed to advance as the Knights closed the game with a 2-0 victory.
Gwaltney picked up the win for Marian as she threw the final four innings allowing one hit while striking out a pair moving to 16-6 on the season.
The Park pitchers held the Knights to only five hits without allowing more than one in an inning with Wenberg (8-6) taking the loss.