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COLUMBUS, Ga. – Rio Grande posted a perfect 5-0 record and captured the 2024 NFCA NAIA Leadoff Classic at the South Commons Complex. The RedStorm (5-0) finished off their undefeated weekend with a 12-4 six-inning win over Truett McConnell.

William Carey, who also was 5-0, is the runner-up. The Crusaders (6-2) also picked up a big win, run-ruling Calumet, 18-6 in six innings. In the tiebreaker scenario, both teams finished with the same run differential (max eight runs per game), but Rio allowed nine less runs than WCU.

Sunday’s triumph marked Rio’s third run-rule victory of the tournament as they also defeated Kentucky Christian, 16-2 and Johnson, 11-0. The other two wins were a 3-1 triumph over No. 12 Mobile and 5-4 against Embry-Riddle highlighted by Gabby Adams’ two-run walk-off double. Against Truett, Rio erased an early 1-0 deficit with five runs over the first two innings. After the Bears cut the lead to 8-4 the RedStorm added a run in the bottom of the fifth and three more in the sixth to end the contest.

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After 11-1 and 9-1 wins on day one, the Crusaders eaked out a pair of close wins on Saturday. They scored two in the bottom of the sixth to defeat No. 3 Cumberlands, 8-6, and scored on a passed ball in the bottom of the eighth in a 7-6 win over Truett McConnell. In their finale against Calumet, WCU ran out to a 10-0 lead. After the Crimson Wave cut the lead to 10-6 in the fifth, the Crusaders responded with eight runs in the sixth to finish things off. 

Also posting wins in the 9:00 am games were RV Campbellsville (15-7 over IU Southeast), Coastal Georgia (7-5 vs. Embry-Riddle), No. 8 Central Methodist (15-3 vs. Johnson), Jessup (7-4 vs. No. 3 Cumberlands) and Milligan (1-0 vs. Lawrence Tech in eight innings). It marked the first win of the tournament for Milligan.

In the 11:00 am games, No. 4 Georgia Gwinnett (5-3 vs. Georgetown), No. 20 Freed-Hardeman (12-1 vs. Kentucky Christian), No. 12 Mobile (6-5 in 8 inn. vs. Mobile) and Johnson (6-5 vs. Webber) won their final matchups of the tournament. It was the first win of the tournament for Johnson as Millie Hurst capped off a four-run seventh with a two-run walk-off double.

CMU and GGC finished 5-1, while three teams - Campbellsville, Jessup and Freed-Hardeman - finished 4-1. Coastal Georgia rebounded from a tough Friday and won its final four games for a 4-2 showing.

 

All-Tournament

Julianna Ingram, Blue Mountain Christian University

Katie O'Brien, Calumet College

Taylor Windell, Campbellsville University

Maddie Roberts, Central Methodist University

Rylee Mills, College of Coastal Georgia

Claire Streeter, Embry-Riddle Prescott

Brinley Cousar, Freed-Hardeman

Ella Forish, Georgetown College

Logan Oller, Georgia Gwinnett

Erin Templeman, IU Southeast

Sarah Giles, Jessup

Audrey Moorhouse, Johnson

Sarah Leyba, Kentucky Christian

Lily Morrissette, Lawrence Tech

Bella Houck, Louisiana Christian

Mia Grasse, Milligan University

Amber Griffin, Thomas University

Jenna O'Brien, Truett McConnell

Caitlin McRee, University of Mobile

Caitlyn Brisker, University of Rio Grande

Morgan Radford, University of the Cumberlands

Rachel Lamoureaux, Webber International

Susie LeBert, William Carey University

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