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Hopper's gem leads The W softball team in Series opener

 

From Special Reports

 

 

DUBOIS, Pa. -- The Mississippi University for Women's softball team used a dominating pitching performance by Cara Hopper to earn a 7-0 victory against Penn State Beaver on Monday in its opening game of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) Small College World Series. 

 

The W nearly made it a clean sweep, but it lost to No. 2 seed and reigning national champion Saint Mary-of-the Woods 5-4 later Monday. 

 

No. 7 seed The W (20-18) will play the winner of the game between Penn State Schuylkill and Maine-Presque Isle at 6 p.m. Tuesday in an elimination game in the double-elimination tournament. 

 

Hopper (7-6), a former standout at Caledonia High School, Itawamba Community College, and Blue Mountain College, pitched a complete-game one-hitter. She walked four and struck out 11. She threw 75 of 113 pitches for strikes for her fifth complete game of the season. 

 

"The entire lineup showed up to play," The W coach Tatjana Matthews said. "It all started with Cara Hopper on the mound. ... They were not going to be outdone by anybody today, and I am as proud as I can be with these ladies." 

 

Brianna Duquette led the Owls by going 3-for-3 as part of a 13-hit attack. Anna Lloyd, Katlyn Duke, and Carolyn "Kendall" Wilkinson also had two hits. Lloyd and Duke had two RBIs. Former Caledonia High standout Makayla Taylor had a hit and an RBI. Kristen Martin also scored two runs. 

 

In Game 2, junior pitcher Madison Scoggin threw four scoreless innings and led 4-0 entering the fifth inning, but the Pomeroys scored all five runs in the fifth. Scoggin (7-9) allowed seven hits and all five runs in 4 1/3 innings. She walked one and struck out one. Hopper allowed two hits in the final 1 2/3 innings. She struck out one. 

 

The Owls scored all of their runs in the third. Lloyd scored the first run on a fielder's choice. Duke scored on a bases-loaded walk, and Martin and Wilkinson scored on a single by Taylor. 

 

In the fifth inning, SMWC found a rhythm and was able to score five runs against the Owls to take the lead. 

 

Taylor was 2-for-3 with two RBIs, while Duke was 2-for-3.

 

 

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