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West Texas A&M Outlasts Valdosta State to Win 2014 Division II National Championship
SALEM, Va. -- West Texas A&M, which spent most of the season ranked No. 1 in the country, capped off its season by defeating Valdosta State, 3-2, and capturing the 2014 NCAA Division II national championship. The championship was the first in the program's history.
The two starting pitchers kept the game scoreless until the seventh inning when West Texas A&M finally broke through against Brianna Hancock. Jessica Sipe led off the inning with a double, but Hancock managed to get the next two outs before surrendering a walk to Lacey Taylor bringing up No. 9 hitter Brittany Gehle. Gehle hammered the 1-0 pitch to left field to put West Texas A&M up 3-0.
Valdosta State wouldn't go away go away quietly, as it got down to its final out before back-to-back as Morgan Butler and Heather Robinson hit back-to-back solo home runs to get to within one run. But NCAA Tournament MVP Rita Hokianga got the final batter to strikeout to secure the championship for the Lady Buffs.
Hancock (25-7) took the loss but only gave up three hits while striking out eight and walking four in seven innings of work. Hokianga (29-3) was also impressive in the victory giving up two runs on four hits with eight strikeouts against a pair of walks. Hokianga was credited with all four West Texas A&M victories and was the tournament MVP.
Neither team had a player with multiple hits in the game and all five runs were scored via home runs.
**courtesy of the Mountain East Conference
2014 NCAA Softball Championship All-Tournament Team
P- Rita Hokianga - West Texas A&M (MVP)
P - Brianna Hancock - Valdosta State
C - Marla Reiter - Dixie St.
IF - Alexis Mercer - Armstrong
IF - Shelby Altman- Valdosta State
IF - Haley Strawn - Southeastern Oklahoma State
IF - Jessica Sipe - West Texas A&M
OF - Courtney Albritton - Valdosta State
OF - Renee' Erwin- West Texas A&M
OF - Fran Johnson - Valdosta State
At Large - Hannah Reppert - Armstrong
At Large - Erin Quense - West Chester
At Large - Laramie Beal - Southeastern Oklahoma State