Kral's 10th-Inning Home Run Lifts Minnesota State Softball over Harding at Super Regional

Kral's 10th-Inning Home Run Lifts Minnesota State Softball over Harding at Super Regional

SEARCY - Minnesota State freshman Amber Kral hit a leadoff home run to left field in the top of the 10th inning to give the No. 6 Mavericks a 1-0 victory over No. 2 Harding on Thursday in the first game of the best-of-three NCAA Division II Central Super Regional. It was the Mavericks' 28th consecutive victory.

The teams, whose combined victory total is 20 more than any of the other seven Division II Super Regionals, will play game two Friday at noon. If Harding wins, game three would start at 2:30 p.m.

Harding (57-8) had its best scoring opportunity in the seventh. Peyton Mills led off with a walk and moved to second on a single to left by Autumn Humes, Harding's first hit of the game against Minnesota State starter Coley Reis.

With two outs, Humes was at second when Mackenzie Jones looped a single into short left field. Minnesota State left fielder McKenzie Paap fielded the ball and threw out Humes on a close play at home.

Minnesota State (58-6) had its second hit of the game off Humes, Harding's starting pitcher, in the fifth inning. The Mavericks did not have another baserunner until Kral's home run, her 13th of the season, in the 10th.

Reis (35-2) pitched her 29th complete game of the season and 16th shutout. She allowed three hits and three walks and struck out 10.

Humes (33-2), whose only two losses this season have both come in 1-0 games against Minnesota State, allowed four hits, walked three and struck out seven. It was also Humes' 29th complete game.

Reis and Humes were the National Fastpitch Coaches Association first and second-team All-Central Region pitchers, respectively.

The crowd of 468 was the fifth attendance of more than 400 at a Harding home game this season.