Eagles Win Second KIAC Title in Softball
BEREA, Ky. – Asbury claimed their second KIAC Softball Tournament Championship on Saturday with a 4-3 victory over Indiana Southeast and a berth to the NAIA National Championship in Gulf Shores, Ala. beginning on May 19th.
A bases loaded walk to Mary Ann Warford in the seventh inning scored Rebecca Baker and gave the Eagles the lead back. A double play and a tapper to third ended the game in the bottom of the inning as the Eagles secured their second conference championship since the sport was resurrected in 2009. The Eagles won the KIAC Tournament in 2009, their first year back.
The Eagles (20-10) pounded out 13 hits in the game their most since April 19th against Alice Lloyd when they had 16. Baker had three while Jessica Johnson, Mary Ann Warford and Stephanie Wade each had two.
Asbury took a 2-0 lead in the third as Emily Ethington doubled in Warford. Miranda Drury would score from third during Johnson’s at-bat as Ethington was caught between second and third. Drury raced home and avoided the catcher’s mitt at the plate by ducking underneath the swipe tag. The Eagles would score their third run in the fifth on another bizarre play. With the bases loaded Danielle Flood struck out but a passed ball by the catcher allowed Johnson to race in from third.
IUS would score two in the fifth and would tie the game in the sixth on a double by Nicole Mills. Kelsey Robinson (6-2) would pick up the win in relief of Maris Harrled. Harreld went 5.2 innings allowing six hits and three runs, only two earned. She didn’t walk a batter and struck out two. Robinson got the final four outs allowing only one hit. It was her second win of the day against IUS.
Earlier in the day the Eagles beat IUS 4-2, scoring all four runs in the top of the seventh to move in to the championship game. Miranda Drury hit a two-run homer to left to tie the score at 2-2 and Kendall Ratchford doubled in two more later in the inning. Robinson pitched all seven innings in that game, scattering 10 hits and allowing only two runs. She walked one, struck out one and hit two.
On Friday the Eagles beat Midway 1-0 in eight innings in their first game of the tournament. Sarah Patrick scored Ratchford on a sacrifice fly to right to end the game. Harreld (10-5) picked up the win with eight innings of six-hit shutout ball. She struck out two and walked one.
The Eagles will travel to the NAIA National Tournament beginning on May 19th. The 32-team tournament consists of eight pools of four teams playing a single round-robin. The winner of each pool with move to an eight team double-elimination tournament beginning on May 23rd. The entire tournament will be held at the Gulf Shores Sportsplex in Gulf Shores, Ala. For further information regarding the tournament, please visit the NAIA site at http://naia.cstv.com/sports/w-softbl/spec-rel/082310aaa.html.