June 1, 2016 Edition
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Callie Brooks of Williams Baptist College is greeted at home plate by her teammates after hitting a two-run home run in the first inning of the Lady Eagles' 10-4 win over Webber International on Monday.
Lady Eagles advance
in World Series
The Williams Baptist College softball team fell to Marian University of Indiana 2-0 in the first round of the NAIA World Series on Friday in Sioux City, Iowa. The loss sent the Lady Eagles to the elimination bracket.
In elimination play, Williams defeated Simpson University 1-0 on Saturday and Webber International University 10-4 on Monday. WBC was scheduled to play Oklahoma City University on Tuesday afternoon.
Marian scored two runs in the top of the second on a two-run homer by Sam Pash, and pitcher Breena Smith was able to keep the Lady Eagles off the scoreboard to hold the 2-0 victory.
WBC mounted a rally in the bottom of the seventh when shortstop Ashley Lyons reached base on a Marian error and Haley Hambrick reached with a base on balls. However, a foul bunt followed by a double play ended the game.
"I thought we hit the ball hard, but we hit it right at people and didn't catch any breaks," said WBC head coach Laura Tucker. "We had multiple opportunities and we just didn't get the job done. We didn't play our best softball today, but we still had a chance to win. We will look to bounce back tomorrow and play with a lot of confidence going forward."
The Lady Eagles faced seventh-ranked Simpson University of California in an elimination game in the NAIA World Series.
Madelyn Poe singled to left with two outs to give WBC a base runner in the eighth inning. Susannah Pugh then broke up the shutout with a double to right field that scored Poe and gave WBC its first lead of the World Series at 1-0. The Lady Eagles were able to finally crack Simpson southpaw pitcher Carlye Avey, who came into the game with a perfect 21-0 record.
"I had been in the situation before in the game with Madelyn on and felt like I didn't get the job done," said Pugh. She added, "Their pitcher was really good. She threw me inside the whole game and so I just hit it where it was pitched."
"It was definitely a battle to the end," said Tucker. "It was exciting for us to get that one key hit. It was a great game and Simpson has a great team that fought all the way to the end. The experiences in the conference tournament and in Alexandria gave us the confidence and belief that we could keep battling."
Rylee Rogers threw a two-hit shutout for her 26th victory this season.
"Rylee has been our go-to all year," added Tucker. "She overcame some adversity and kept battling and got the shutout."
So far in the National Tournament, WBC has knocked off the seventh, ninth and 10th ranked teams in the NAIA.
WBC faced Webber International University of Florida in an elimination game on Monday. Williams' 40th win on the season left them as one of the top six teams in the nation.
A leadoff walk to Brooke Mason started a big sixth inning for the Eagles. Andrea Drake's sacrifice bunt to the pitcher moved pinch runner Leslie Garza to second base. Lyons then sent a shot to the wall in left for a stand-up RBI double to give Williams a 6-4 lead. Hambrick followed with a rocket down the leftfield line for a double, scoring pinch runner Alexis Ingram, extending the lead to 7-4.
After a WIU pitching change, WBC used another pinch-hitter in Molleigh Gray, who launched a three-run homer to right center, her fourth this season, producing the final score of 10-4 in favor of Williams.
"I was so happy because it was such a team win and everyone picks up everyone and depends on everyone on this team," said Gray.
"Our sixth inning was big for us," added Tucker. "We had a lot of people get in the game and contribute, capped off by Molleigh's three-run homer. Yesterday, Molleigh struck out and she bounced back today with a big three-run homer, so today was exciting for her."
Williams sent 10 batters to the plate in the sixth as the team scored five runs on three hits.
In the bottom of the sixth, Rogers was able to set down Webber International in order. She did not allow another base runner until a leadoff walk in the bottom of the seventh.
After Madelyn Poe watched four straight balls to start the game with a leadoff walk, Brooks launched a two-run blast to left field, her 10th this season, to give WBC an early 2-0 lead. The homer for Brooks was her first hit of the World Series.
Webber responded with a home run from second baseman Alyssa Householder. Rogers settled in and got the next three batters out and Williams held a 2-1 lead after one inning of play.
Lyons was able to reach base in the top of the second on an error from the WIU third baseman. Hambrick was hit by a pitch to give the Lady Eagles runners on first and second with no outs. After a Jordyn Barkowsky sacrifice bunt to the catcher, Lyons and Hambrick moved up a base. Poe followed up with a soft grounder to short. Her speed was too much to overcome, and her infield RBI single gave WBC a 3-1 lead. After Poe stole second, Pugh hit a grounder to the first baseman that was misplayed. Both Hambrick and Poe scored before Pugh was thrown out at second and Williams held a 5-1 lead after an inning and a half of action.
Rogers issued a leadoff walk in the bottom half of the seventh. WBC pitching coach Karisa Hendrix then went to Catherine Totty to relieve Rogers. Totty worked a scoreless seventh to hold the lead and secure the win.
"Both of our pitchers did a good job of battling and staying in there," said Hendrix. "It was a different game than we have been having, but both of our pitchers battled."
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