TUCSON, Ariz. — Top-ranked and defending national champion Texas Lutheran knocked off fifth-ranked Illinois Wesleyan and National Pitcher of the Year Ally Wiegand with a 3-0 victory Friday night at the National Fastpitch Coaches Association’s Leadoff Classic.

At Lincoln Park Field in Tucson, the Bulldogs received timely hitting from Kali Chatham and Cassie Roche and outstanding pitching from Kayla Oliveira and Ashlyn Strother.

TLU improved to 13-0 with the win. Illinois Wesleyan dropped to 2-1.

Chatham gave TLU the 1-0 lead in the second when she singled to score McKay Bloxham.

Roche singled in the fourth to bring home Chassety Raines and Bloxham.

Oliveira, a senior right-hander, teamed with freshman right-hander Strother to notch the one-hit shutout. 

Oliveira worked into the seventh. After she walked the first batter and then went to 2-0 on the next batter, Strother came in to halt the Titans’ rally.

After the next batter walked, Strother retired the next three batters in order to earn her first

collegiate save.

Oliveira went to 5-0 with the victory. Wiegand dropped to 1-1 with the loss.

The 2019 NCAA Division III Pitcher of the Year, Wiegand led Illinois Wesleyan to the 2019 NCAA Division III National Championship Finals. The Titans lost just before a potential matchup with TLU in the finals. TLU went on to defeat Emory (Ga.) for the national championship.

Against TLU on Friday, Wiegand struck out eight, walked one, and allowed five hits and two earned runs.

TLU stole three bases. Bloxham had a steal and two runs scored.

TLU’s late-night game against Babson College was declared a no-contest in the third inning. The complex that hosts the Leadoff Classic abides by an ordinance that does not allow games (with the usage of the lights) to go on past 10:30 p.m. local time. Before the game, the coaches agreed to the no-contest if the game did not reach five innings.

At 10:30 p.m., the game was halted. TLU was leading 12-0 in the third inning when the game was called.

The Bulldogs returned to Lincoln Park on Saturday for matchups with No. 2 Christopher Newport and unranked Pacific Lutheran. 

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