By Matt Leon

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — An incredible ride for the Rowan University softball team will continue this week in Salem, Virginia as the Profs open play in the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament.

Rowan got here by winning their NCAA Super Regional. They will open the Championship Tournament on Thursday night when they take on Messiah.

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The Profs are 40-9 on the season and this success has allowed the team to meet the lofty expectations of head coach Kim Wilson.

“I definitely thought when we set our goals this season, this was obviously the ultimate goal,” Wilson tells KYW Newsradio. “We try to take it one step at a time, one weekend at a time, one game at a time. We just took little pieces, just like we’ll do this weekend. One game at a time.”

Listen to the entire interview with Rowan’s Kim Wilson:

 

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Wilson says she has a team does an awful lot of things well.

“We cover all the bases,” Wilson says. “We have good pitching, we play good defense, we can hit for power and run pretty well, too. It’s a pretty complete package.”

On the mound, the Profs are lead by senior Beth Ann Hyland, who is 25-5 with a 1.42 ERA. At the plate, senior shortstop Shilah Snead paces the attack with a .479 average.

In their first game in Salem, the Profs will take on a Messiah team they are familiar with.

“We actually faced them in Florida (earlier this season),” Wilson says, “and we lost a 4-3 ball game. We had 12 hits, they had four and we stranded, I think, 14 runners in that game. So, for us, we don’t feel like we played to our potential. We didn’t get the key hits when we wanted them. We gave up one three-run home run and that was the difference maker. So we’re looking for a little redemption in this first-round game.”

The tournament is double elimination, until it gets down to the two final teams, who then play a best-of-three series for the national championship.

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Rowan and Messiah get underway at 6:30pm on Thursday.