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Grand Slam Lifts Angelo State to Schutt Sports Division II Leadoff Classic Title
Sophomore Macy Baker belted a grand slam home run in the top of the seventh inning to propel the Angelo State softball team to a 6-4 win over No. 3-ranked Emporia State University Saturday in the title game of the 2007 Schutt NCAADivision II Leadoff Classic, held at the Ross Mofford Complex in Phoenix, Ariz.
The Rambelles, now 18-2, trailed ESU, 4-2, entering the final inning before completing their come-from-behind effort. Senior Kandace Kubat and junior Brittney Cargill each reached base as hit batters and a drawn walk by freshman Kaycee Taylor loaded the bases for Baker's heroics. Baker was hit by a pitch by Hornet right-hander Courtney Reed, but the umpire ruled that Baker did not make an attempt to get out of the way. On the ensuing pitch, the shortstop drilled her team-leading sixth home run of the season to give the Rambelles the tournament title.
Junior right-hander Kari Galm (8-1) earned her third win of the tournament as she tossed the entire 7.0 innings with three stikeouts to just one walk. Galm gave up just one earned run on four hits as she continues to spark ASU in the circle. Kubat recorded the Rambelles' only multiple-hit game with a 2-for-3 performance with a pair of runs scored. Baker went 1-for-3 against the Hornets while Taylor went 1-for-2 with a solo home run to lead off the sixth frame.
After going 2-1 in pool play, with their only loss to NCAA Division I-provisional member California State University-Bakersfield, the Rambelles advanced to the Gold Bracket in the event as the No. 5 seed. ASU opened up bracket play on Friday night with a 4-3, eight-inning, win over Dixie State College (Utah). The Rambelles advanced to the title game with a 6-1 win over No. 14-ranked California State University-Stanislaus.
Against DSU, the Rambelles went into extra innings for the first time this season and plated two runs in the top of the eighth frame to earn the win. Junior pinch runner Vanessa Rodriguez was placed on second base to begin the inning as the international tie-breaker was in effect. Baker then used a bunt single to give the Rambelles runners on the corners. After a drawn walk by junior Leina Braxton, Rodriguez was called out at home on a fielder's choice for the first out of the inning. Junior Brittany Welch earned an RBI the hard way as she was hit by a pitch by DSU's Haley Schumers to give Angelo State a 3-2 lead. Senoir Dionne Lopez followed that up with the insurance run the Rambelles proved to need with a sacrifice fly to plate Braxton. Dixie State plated on run in the bottom of the inning but left a runner on base as the final out was recorded.
Galm earned the win going the complete 8.0 innings giving up no earned runs on four hits. She fanned five without issuing a walk. Baker went 2-for-4 from the dish with a runs scored and an RBI while Taylor added a 1-for-4 outing with an RBI-single in the first frame.
In the Rambelles' semifinal win over CSU-Stanislaus, they plated four runs in the top of the seventh inning to secure their berth in the title game. Cargill (7-1) pitched a gem for ASU scattering four hits and not allowing an earned run in a complete-game performance. Additionally, she went 2-for-4 from the plate with a run scored to spark the Rambelles offensively. Braxton went 2-for-2 agianst CSU-S with three RBIs and a two runs scored, mostly off of a two-run home run in the seventh inning, her fifth of the season.
The Rambelles are off to their second-best start in school history behind 2003's remarkable 20-0 run to open the year. ASU will travel to Amarillo this weekend to compete in a tournament hosted by West Texas A&M University. The Rambelles return home on Friday, March 2, when they host Eastern New Mexico University at 3 p.m. to start Lone Star Conference South Division play.