The College of Idaho softball team responded with its back against the wall Wednesday afternoon, beating the Oregon Institute of Technology twice to advance to the NAIA World Series.
The Coyotes clipped the Owls 2-1 in game one, then mercy-ruled them 10-0 in a five-inning championship game. Now the Yotes (33-16) will head to Columbus, Ga., to face Kentucky's Lindsey Wilson (48-9) at 8 a.m. MDT on May 23.
"I didn't want it to be my last game on this field," said senior pitcher Nickayla Skinner, who struck out seven batters in game one.
Skinner, the two-time Cascade Collegiate Conference Pitcher of the Year, pitched two complete games. She limited Oregon Tech to six hits in the opener, and just four in the nightcap. Skinner also drove in three runs in the second game.
She fought back tears in the 30-minute intermission between games, thinking about her career coming to an end.
"It has just been amazing. Honestly, I couldn't have asked for a better college experience," said Skinner. "I don't even like to think about it because I get emotional."
"Just being out on the field playing with those girls. They're family, they're my sisters," she added. "It has really just been the most amazing experience. I couldn't have asked for anything better."