Fourth-seeded Northern Iowa held off Evansville, the seventh seed, 2-1 in Saturday’s Missouri Valley Conference tournament final at CU Sports Complex to clinch a berth in the NCAA tournament for the second time in program history.
Jamie Fisher, the tournament’s MVP, outdueled Evansville’s Sarah Patterson. The UNI all-time wins leader tossed a complete game, allowing one unearned run and five hits.
The Aces (23-30) made it 1-0 in the third inning when Kayla Fortner reached on an error, scoring Victoria Dellorto. The Panthers (26-24) responded in the bottom of the sixth when Kristin Lock hit a two-out, two-run single with the bases loaded to give Northern Iowa a 2-1 lead.
Fisher then retired the Nos. 2, 3 and 4 hitters in the top of the seventh to end the game.
Creighton juniors Becca Changstrom and Ellen Homan earned spots on the All-Valley tournament team, the first time two Bluejays had made the tourney squad.