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Emporia State Captures Title at Division II Leadoff Classic

Melissa Stevens threw a complete game, two-hit shutout over defending Leadoff Classic champion Texas A&M-Kingsville to lead Emporia State to a 2-0 victory and the championship of the 2004 NFCA/Schutt Sports Division II Leadoff Classic in Irving, Texas. 

Stevens, who was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, pitched the gem immediately after she tossed another two-hit shutout against top-seeded Texas Woman’s in the semifinal. 

Emporia struck first in the second inning, when Kelly Gartner scored an unearned run on an error by Brandy Thompson in left field. The Hornets added an insurance run in the third when Kayla Hubbard delivered an RBI single to score Morgan Viola. 

With a two run lead, Stevens took over. After getting out of a bases loaded jam in the third, she retired 12 of the next 14 batters, including five strikeouts. 

Five players, including Stevcns, managed one hit at the plate for Emporia. 2003 Leadoff MVP Robyn Jensen gave up just three hits in her three innings. 

Western New Mexico defeated Incarnate Word 4-0 behind a one-hitter from Ashley Slaugh to capture the consolation final in the Gold bracket. St. Edward’s took the Silver bracket with a 3-0 victory over Central Missouri State. 

Eighth-ranked Wayne State bounced back from an 0-3 start to the tournament to finish third in the Silver bracket. The Warriors scored a seventh inning run to knock off upstart New Mexico Highlands 2-1. 

Angelo State won the Bronze bracket by defeating Washburn earlier in the day.