Southwest Minnesota State rallied from a run down and topped Northwest Missouri State 3-2 in eight innings Thursday in the first round of the NCAA North Central Region Championships held on the campus of Emporia State University. Amanda Burkhart’s single to left in the bottom of the eighth scored Erin Dickhausen to win it for the Mustangs.
It’s the third consecutive extra-inning loss for the Bearcats (31-21), who lost in eight innings to Emporia State and Central Missouri to conclude the MIAA tournament last week. Northwest must play an elimination game against Central Missouri Thursday night at 8 p.m.
Northwest, the No. 7 seed in the tournament, scored twice in the top of the sixth inning to take a 2-1 lead against the second-seeded Mustangs (39-10).
Northwest starter Cola Krueger (13-9) retired the first two batters in the bottom half of the sixth inning before Kiley Peterson launched her fifth home run of the season to tie the game at two.
Johnson (28-4), a first-team all-region pitcher, went the distance for SWMSU, allowing six hits, striking out seven and walking one.
Krueger issued her second free pass of the game to Dickhausen to lead off the bottom of the eighth. Meaghan Laetsch sacrificed Dickhausen to second before Burkhart delivered the game-winning hit.