Defending Champs Too Much For Eagles
Decatur, AL - Asbury's softball team dropped their opening game in pool play at the NAIA National Championship on Thursday morning to the reigning champs from Lubbock Christian 5-0. The Eagles could only manage two hits against the mighty Lady Chaps.
Asbury (24-13) got down early as the leadoff batter for LCU doubled and later scored on a single in the first inning. The Lady Chaps would add four more in the second on five hits, all runs would be unearned in the inning because of a missed catch by the Eagles' Rebecca Baker. After that Asbury's pitcher Carrie Wilderman would find a groove, retiring 10 straight before a lead off single in the sixth. Wilderman went the distance giving up nine hits to a team that leads the NAIA in batting average at .390. Wilderman also held the Lady Chaps to three runs under their season average of 8, including only one earned run. Wilderman also struck out two and walked only one.
The bats were cold against one of the best pitchers the nation has to offer in Alyssa Gutierrez, only getting one hit in 5 1/3 innings. Asbury would add their second hit off of relief pitcher Jori Rodgers. Asbury's first baserunner of the game came in the sixth inning when with one out Brittany Warren pinch-hit for Anetria Whaley and single down the left field line. Kendall Ratchford would walk with two outs but Asbury would be unable to push across a run. The Eagles' second hit came off the bat of Miranda Drury who singled to lead off the seventh. Carrie Wilderman would reach on an error but again the Eagles would be unable to push across a run.
Asbury will look for their first win in their first trip to the NAIA National Championship tomorrow at 5pm CST/ 6pm EST when they take on Shorter College (Ga.) in the second day of Pool B action. Shorter defeated Morningside (Iowa) on Thursday afternoon 4-0. Asbury will play Morningside on the final day of pool play, Saturday at 5:30pm CST/ 6:30 pm EST. Live Stats will be available for Friday's game against Shorter by clicking here.