DECATUR , Ala. – At the 2004 NAIA Softball National Championships at Wilson Morgan Park in Decatur , Alabama , No. 1 seed Thomas University ( Ga. ) (37-3) defeated 2003 champion Simon Fraser University (B.C.) 5-4 in their second contest of the day.
The Night Hawks from Thomas scored first in the contest, placing two runs on the board off one hit and a fielding error. Freshman Yuruby Alicart (1-for-3) singled to lead off the inning, advancing to second base on a defensive error by Paige Stevens and to third base on a ground out by Stephanie Dixon (1-for-3). The Star’s Erin Thomas (1-for-2) then threw a wild pitch which allowed Alicart to score the first run of the game. Senior Tania Black (0-for-4) scored the second run of the game on a sacrifice bunt from Gilliam Loughead (1-for-3) after reaching on the defensive error. In the bottom of the third inning, the Night Hawks added an additional run on two hits and an error.
Simon Fraser tied the game in the top of the fourth inning on five hits. Sophomore Erin Gee (3-for-4) led off the inning with a single to left-center field, advancing on a one-out ground ball from Haylee Rempel (0-for3-). Gee then scored on a single by Jenny Simpson (1-for-2) to center field. Rebecca Rijavec and Kim Rossiter (1-for-3) both scored on a double to deep left-center by Thomas. Thomas and Simon Fraser both scored one run each in the fifth inning to knot the game once again in the contest.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Loughead led off the inning with a single down the left-field line. Loughead advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Jennifer Byrd (0-for-4) and to third base on a ground out to second base by Stacey Ward (1-for-3). Loughead then scored the winning run when shortstop Jes Neilson misplayed a ground ball hit by catcher Nicole Criste.
Tracy Avery earned the victory for Thomas, pitching twoinnings, allowing only two hits and striking out three batters. Erin Thomas suffered the loss for the Clan, pitching six and two thirds innings allowing three earned runs and striking out three batters.