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Shorter Wins NAIA National Championship In Extra Innings
GULF SHORES, Ala. - Senior center fielder Charlsie Broome played a key role as Shorter (Ga.) claimed its first-ever NAIA softball national championship, with a 1-0 victory over Oklahoma City Wednesday afternoon. The event is being played at the Gulf Shores Sportsplex for the second-straight year.
The LaFayette, Ga., native went 3-for-4 at the plate and scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning. She also saved a run, taking away a home run by Oklahoma City's Lee Ann Lopez with two outs in the top of the ninth inning.
The loss denied a title for Oklahoma City, who was playing for their NAIA-record ninth national championship.
Shorter broke through in the ninth inning after missing out on scoring opportunities throughout the game. Shorter stranded 13 runners on base, including two in the seventh and eighth innings and the bases loaded in the third inning.
Freshman pitcher Maddie Bray, who was named the NAIA National Tournament Most Valuable Player, tossed a complete-game three-hit shutout. She struck out two and did not walk a batter.
Her counterpart in the circle, senior pitcher Lily LaVelle, struck out eight to establish a new national tournament record for strikeouts and innings pitched. The Bridge Creek, Okla. native struck out 88 batters in eight tournament games and lasted through 65.1 innings. On Wednesday, she surrendered seven hits and walked six, while throwing 161 total pitches.
In the top of the ninth, with two outs Lopez drove a ball to deep center field. Broome broke back to the fence, reached over and took away what more than likely would have been a go-ahead score.
"It was something we do at practice, we work on it, so I was prepared for it." Broome said. "It was routine and I had it all the way."
Shorter ends its season with a 53-11 overall record.
Title Game Notes