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UMD rallies to win NSIC opener

Already battling emotions due to the disappearance of a former teammate, the Minnesota Duluth softball team battled back from the brink of losing to defeat Concordia-St. Paul 2-1 in 12 innings Friday in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference...

Already battling emotions due to the disappearance of a former teammate, the Minnesota Duluth softball team battled back from the brink of losing to defeat Concordia-St. Paul 2-1 in 12 innings Friday in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference tournament at the RCTC Dome in Rochester, Minn.

Michaela Goris scored the tying run on Kierra Jeffers' groundout with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning and Tyra Kerr came home with the winning run on a wild pitch in the bottom of the 12th to give regular-season co-champion UMD (40-11) the victory in the double-elimination tournament.

All three seniors were teammates of former UMD outfielder Mandy Matula, the 24-year-old Eden Prairie, Minn., woman reported missing Thursday.

Right-hander Julia Nealer (24-4) kept UMD in the game, allowing only five hits on 193 pitches and a bases-loaded fielder's choice in the fourth inning for the Golden Bears' lone run.

UMD scratched out the equalizer when Goris singled with one out, advanced to third on Kerr's single and then scored on Jeffers' RBI.

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Kerr, named the school's top female senior athlete, led off the 12th with a hit, moved to second on a passed ball and third on an ensuing throwing error. She sprinted home with two outs on a wild pitch.

The Bulldogs face Augustana (31-13) in a battle of tournament unbeatens at 4 p.m. today.

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