DENVER, Colo. – No. 1 West Texas A&M, No. 5 Humboldt State, No. 3 North Alabama and Adelphi opened with wins on the first day of the NCAA Division II National Championships as part of the Spring Festival, Tuesday at Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Regency Athletic Complex.
The Lady Buffs (59-3) and Jacks (51-5-1) will face off tomorrow, May 18 at 12:00 p.m. MT, while the Lions (56-6) and Panthers (35-20) follow at 2:30 p.m. MT. In a pair of elimination games, Grand Valley State and No. 16 Armstrong State play at 5:00 p.m. MT. The final contest of day features No. 15 Southern Arkansas and Charleston at 7:30 p.m.
Game 1 – No. 1 West Texas A&&M 4, Grand Valley State 0
NFCA All-American Kilee Halbert twirled a complete-game shutout and No. 1 West Texas A&M scored all four runs in the fourth to defeat Grand Valley State, 4-0 in the opening game of the Division II National Championships.
Halbert scattered seven hits, struck out five and walked four as she improved to 27-2. Brittany Gehle recorded the big hit in the fourth, a two-run double that made it 3-0. Shea Ibrahim also recorded a run-scoring double. Brittany Cruz and Allie Smith each had two hits for the Lady Buffs.
Following a throwing error, a pair of run-scoring doubles by Gehle and Ibrahim put West Texas A&M up 4-0 in the top of the fourth. A one-out error allowed Kourtney Coveney to scoot home with the first run of the game.
The Lakers (43-12) generated seven hits, two by McKenze Supernaw, but could not get the big base knock as it stranded 12 base runners, including nine over the first four innings.
Game 2 – No. 5 Humboldt State 3, No. 16 Armstrong State 2
Madison Williams, who carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning, struck out eight and allowed just two hits in a complete-game effort to lead No. 5 Humboldt State to a 3-2 win in game two. The second-team NFCA All-American cruised into the sixth before allowing a single and a two-out two-run homer, but she settled down to retire the final four batters of the game and earn the win.
The Jacks scored all their runs in the bottom of the third. Nine-hole hitter Cyndi Chavez came up with the big hit, a RBI single back up the middle to plate the first run of the contest. They would add two more runs on a balk and a wild pitch.
Chavez also had a strong game at short, picking every ball that was hit her way, finishing with a game-high six assists, along with two shutouts. Tiffany Hollingsworth, Julie Pena and Illa Haley also recorded hits for the Jacks.
The Pirates (40-14) made it interesting in the sixth. Peyton Roth broke up the no-hit bid with a leadoff single. After a fielder’s choice and a line out, freshman Logan Harrell made it a one-run game with a two-run bomb to right.
Game 3 – No. 3 North Alabama 9, No. 15 Southern Arkansas 0 (5)
Behind two home runs and five RBI by NFCA First-Team All-American Brooklynn Clark (pictured) and a three-hit shutout from Hillary Carpenter, No. 3 North Alabama cruised past No. 15 Southern Arkansas, 9-0 in five innings.
Clark, who kick-started a five-run first, homered in her first two at bats and finished 3-for-3 with three runs scored. Carpenter (28-3) struck out three, walked three and extended her scoreless streak to 37 innings.
With two runners on and one out in the bottom of the first, Clark laced an 0-2 pitch deep over the centerfield fence for a 3-0 advantage. Three batters later Reagan Tittle clocked a two-run shot to left for a 5-0 cushion.
Clark added to the lead with another no-doubter in the second, crushing a two-run opposite field dinger to push the Lions’ (55-6) lead to 7-0. They closed out the scoring with two in the fourth on a RBI ground out and a run-scoring single by Anna Gayle Norris.
Tittle finished 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored. Bailey Nelson and Courtney Shields each scored two runs for UNA.
Taylor Guin, Brooke Goad and Chelsea Jordan each recorded a hit for the Muleriders (51-10).
Game 4 – Adelphi 10, Charleston 4
Trailing 4-3, Adelphi scored seven unanswered runs, five coming in the top of the sixth, to rally and defeat Charleston, 10-4 in the final game on day one of 2016 NCAA Softball Championships.
Nicole Camera and Megan Lewis led the Panthers offensively, each going 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBI. Krista King finished 3-for-5 with two runs, while Christina Palmenteri was 3-for-3 with a pair of runs.
Lindsay Mapes (22-12) earned the win in the circle for Adelphi. She went the distance, allowing four runs, three earned, on six hits with a strikeout and seven walks. Throughout the game, the junior hurler battled and bore down to get several key outs in tight situations to help her squad stay in the contest.
The Panthers jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first courtesy of a three-run long ball by Lewis. The Golden Eagles (50-11) answered with two runs of their own in the bottom half of the frame. After a wild pitch put Charleston on the board, Alyssa Stanley pushed across the second run with a RBI single.
After both teams failed to score in the second and third innings, Charleston grabbed its first lead of the game in the bottom of the fourth. Alayna Carlson drilled a game-tying solo home run to center. With two outs, Bethany Williams was hit with the bases loaded to make it 4-3 Golden Eagles.
Adelphi quickly regained the lead in the top of the fifth on back-to-back RBI singles off the bats of Camera and Lewis.
Highlighted by Camera’s three-run bomb deep over the leftfield fence, the Panthers turned a one-run lead into a six-run cushion. Prior to the long ball, a wild pitch and a RBI triple by Nicoletta Cuccio started started the outburst.