Pool played concluded and bracket play begun Saturday at the 10th annual NFCA Leadoff Classic, with Oklahoma, Georgia, Michigan and Florida State remaining in contention for the tournament title.
Oklahoma fought off an upstart Seton Hall squad, improving to 15-4 on the season with a 4-1 win over the Pirates. Norrelle Dickson and Kristin Vesely each posted two-hit games for the 13th-ranked Sooners, who face No. 16 Georgia in Sunday’s semifinals.
Georgia pitcher Michelle Green took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, then struck out the side after Louisiana-Lafayette’s Danyele Gomez opened the inning with a solo home run. The 2-1 victory over the Ragin Cajuns improved Georgia to 10-6 on the season.
No. 8 Michigan continued its impressive run with a 7-0 win over Creighton. Nicole Motycka threw a complete game, two-hit shutout for the Wolverines, who will face a Florida State team attempting to reach its second consecutive Leadoff Classic championship game.
The Seminoles quieted the previously hot Fresno State bats with a 2-0 win over the Bulldogs, who had hit eight home runs in their first three games.
Fresno State will face Creighton while Louisiana-Lafayette will take on Seton Hall in consolation action.
Alabama moved to the semifinals of the Silver Championship Bracket with a hard fought 1-0 win over North Carolina. Stephanie VanBrakle went seven innings, giving up just two hits and striking out 12, including an appealed third strike to end the game.
The Tide will face Southern Illinois, which was a 4-0 winner over Cal State Northridge. The Matadors out hit SIU 5-4, but the Salukis took advantage with a three run fifth inning.
Oregon rebounded from an 0-3 start in the tournament to defeat San Diego State 3-1. The Ducks’ Alicia Cook threw a complete game two hitter and Kristi Jorgensen went 3-for-3.
The Ducks advance to face South Carolina, which was a 6-1 winner over Massachusetts. Lisa Longo went 3-for 4 with three RBIs for the Gamecocks.
North Carolina will face Northridge and San Diego State plays UMass in consolation action.
In the Bronze bracket, Lehigh picked up its second win of the tournament with a 3-1 win over Texas State, which fell to 5-14 on the season.The Mountain Hawks erased a 1-0 deficit with a three run fifth inning and Emily Ling scattered five hits over a complete game.
Nebraska improved to 9-3 on the season with a five inning, 9-1 victory over Georgia Tech, which dropped its fourth game of the tournament after beginning the season 13-0.
Megan Huitink tossed a the sixth no-hitter in Leadoff Classic history as the Blue Demons moved to the semifinals of the Bronze bracket with a 2-0 win over Florida Atlantic. The Owls’ Candice Freel only allowed four hits over a complete game, but surrendered single runs in the second and third innings.
DePaul will face LSU, which rebounded from two consecutive losses with a 6-0 victory over Michigan State. Megan Jolly scattered three hits over a complete game and three Tigers recorded two hits and two RBIs.
Texas State faces Georgia Tech and Florida Atlantic faces Michigan State in consolation action. All four teams are looking for their first win of the tournament.
Bracket play continues at the NFCA Leadoff Classic Sunday at 9 a.m. ET with the six consolation semifinals. Championship semifinals are slated for 11 a.m. with the both the championship and consolation finals scheduled for a 1 p.m. start.