HOLLAND, Mich. — Chapman had a team meeting before playing in the NCAA Division III Central Region softball championship.
"We talked about walking out and looking intimidating," sophomore pitcher Christy Guidorizzi said. "That was one of our goals. We tried to walk out with our little stride and look confident and be intimidating."
Chapman simply dominated Calvin (Mich.) College, 6-0, to win the regional title Saturday afternoon in front of 200 at Hope College.
The Panthers (37-7 overall) advance to this week's national championship tournament in Salem, Va., where they will defend their national title.
"We aren't cocky, we are confident," Chapman co-Coach Janet Lloyd said. "I tried to impress on my team that everybody is watching them. I want them to be confident the whole time, even when you walk from here to there."
Getting from here to there starts with Guidorizzi. She had eight strikeouts against Calvin (29-8), finishing with her fourth no-hitter this season. An error kept it from being a perfect game.
"I wanted that perfect game so bad," said Guidorizzi, who gave up only one hit during the tournament.
Guidorizzi was just as impressive at the plate, scoring once and was two for four with two runs batted in. "I love hitting," Guidorizzi said. "Sometimes, I'm more happy about my hitting than pitching."
Chapman had 12 hits off Calvin pitcher Shauna Koolhaas.
Chapman catcher Kathy Donovan was two for four with three RBIs. And Lisa Cancilla, a candidate for the Division III player of the year award, was three for four and scored a run for the Panthers.
During the two-day tournament, Chapman played in everything from sunshine to a nasty, cold drizzle.
"I was a little intimidated by the weather but I tried not to show it," Lloyd said. "I was just trying to keep their minds off the situation. That's why we would hang out in the locker room a little longer."
By the seventh inning, when the victory was all but secured, the Panthers were giggling and joking around as Guidorizzi finished off the no-hitter.
"We are a bunch of goofballs," Guidorizzi said. "We have a lot of fun."
Central Region notes
Kathy Donovan, Jenni Bankus, Lisa Cancilla, Jessamine Maiben and Christy Guidorizzi were named to the all-tournament team for Chapman.