Junior Missy Dieckman-Meyer did not allow an earned run as the Foresters rolled to a 10-1 six-inning victory at Central College, the nation's 15th-ranked team, on Friday. Lake Forest is making its 10th NCAA Division III Tournament appearance in the last 18 years.
Dieckman-Meyer did not allow a hit until the fourth inning and struck out eight batters in the contest, her highest-single game total since the team's Spring Break trip. All four of the hits she allowed on the day were singles. She is 3-0 with a 1.33 earned run average and 20 strikeouts in her last 21 innings of work.
The Foresters jumped out to the early lead with three runs in the top of the first inning. The game started with singles by senior outfielders Maria Zepeda and Diamond Owens and sophomore second baseman Shaye Gauthier was hit by a pitch, loading the bases. Senior shortstop Alyssa Grimm followed with a two-run double and senior third baseman Emma Varsbergs singled in another run later in the frame.
After the Dutch plated a run in the bottom of the third, Lake Forest rallied for three more runs in the fifth. Varsbergs singled in the first two and the third came home on one of two Central errors in the inning. The visitors tacked on four more runs in the sixth with Gauthier doubling in Zepeda and Grimm adding her second two-run double of the day before scoring herself on a groundout by junior first baseman Riley Frisbie.
The victory improved the Foresters' reord on the season to 25-15 while Central fell to 26-9.
The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse defeated the College of St. Benedict 7-4 in the other opening round game of the double-elimination regional tournament. Lake Forest and La Crosse will play Saturday morning at 11:00 and Central and St. Benedict will face off in the event's first elimination game at 1:30 p.m. Another team will be sent home after the loser of the first game takes on the winner of the second at 4:00. The Lake Forest-La Crosse winner will advance to the championship on Sunday.