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COLUMBUS, Ga. – The skies cleared, the sun shined and the sounds of softball filled the South Commons Complex as 22 laced up their cleats for a full day of highly-competitive action, Saturday at the NFCA Division III Leadoff Classic. Of those teams, Berry, East Texas Baptist, Linfield, Trine and Wartburg posted 2-0 marks, while Moravian went 2-1 on the day.

Berry scored 22 runs as it picked up a pair of five-inning victories over DePauw, 9-0, and Central, 13-5. ETBU scored two runs in the top of the seventh to edge Christopher Newport, 3-1, before topping Case Western Reserve, 4-1. Moravian opened the day with a 10-4 win over Central and closed out with a 5-2 defeat of Illinois Wesleyan. Linfield collected a five-inning win over Belhaven, 9-1, before scoring a run in the top of the seventh to edge Transylvania, 5-4.

Tournament Central

Trine improved to 3-0 at the Leadoff with a 10-2 run-rule win over Mary Hardin-Baylor and a 6-0 blanking of Saint Benedict. The Thunder have scored 33 runs over their first three games of the tournament. Wartburg scored four runs in the first and held on for a 5-4 win over Roanoke and behind a five-run fourth top Bethel, 9-4. 

Also earning victories on Saturday were Babson, Bethel, Case Western Reserve, Christopher Newport, Virginia Wesleyan, Chapman, Illinois Wesleyan, Roanoke, Transylvania, Belhaven and Mary Hardin-Baylor. Babson edged Moravian, 2-1, for its first win of 2024. Bethel, Chapman, Transylvania and Bethel picked up wins in their tournament openers. CNU, VWU and Roanoke rebounded from tournament-opening defeats with triumphs over Illinois Wesleyan (12-0), DePauw (10-5) and Piedmont (8-0). 

UMHB won its first game of the tournament, 5-1 over Saint Benedict. CWRU and Belhaven each improved to 2-1 in Columbus with wins over Virginia Wesleyan, 4-2, and Concordia, 5-1, respectively. IWU went 1-2 on Saturday, earning its first win of the tournament, 3-0 over Chapman.

The final day of competition features 22 contests with the first six matchups starting at 9:00 a.m.

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