Another impressive pitching performance by sophomore Brittany Gardner of Sandburg has put the Loyola University women's softball team into the final of the Horizon League tournament for the first time since 2004.
Should second-seeded Loyola win the double-elimination tourney Saturday, it would earn its first NCAA tournament bid in history.
Gardner followed a no-hitter Thursday -- her second of the season - for a 6-0 win over Wisconsin-Green Baywith a 14-strikeout effort in a 9-1 win Friday over Butler at Valparaiso, Ind.
Top-seeded Valparaiso will be Loyola's final opponent. Having lost its first game, Valpo must beat the Ramblers twice for the title.
Gardner, a southpaw who was the league's newcomer of the year in 2011, ran her record to 19-9. She has fanned 214 in 167 innings.
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