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Four Teams Go 2-0 In Saturday Play at NAIA Leadoff Classic

 William Carey, Auburn-Montgomery, Mobile and Lubbock Christian were the trio of schools to win both games they played, and Auburn-Montgomery’s Brandi Richards twirled a perfect game during Saturday’s full day of play at the NFCA NAIA Leadoff Classic in Panama City Beach, Fla. Saturday was the final full-schedule day of play with eight teams remaining to play an eight-game slate on Sunday morning at Frank Brown Park, beginning at 10 a.m. CDT. 

Auburn-Montgomery freshman pitcher Brandi Richards tossed a perfect game, retiring all 21 batters she faced, in one of the last two games of the day to finish. Richards struck out 16 in the contest and did not issue a walk or have a batter reach via error in the game. Her offense nearly forced her to continue into the land of Harvey Haddix as the Lady Senators collected six hits in the game, but were unable to score until Kendall Thomas plated Richards on a fielding error by William Penn with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning. 

In their earlier contest on the day, Auburn-Montgomery blanked Walsh, 10-0 in five innings. In that contest, catcher Sara Allen had three RBI for the Lady Senators, while centerfielder Joanna Reynolds had three runs scored. Stephanie Baxley struck out seven for the three-hit shutout victory. 

William Carey opened the day’s play with a 7-4 win over Olivet Nazarene. The Lady Crusaders pounded out 14 hits in the game including a three-run home run by Jill Wedgeworth. Bree Neidhardt went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI in the game. The team followed with a 6-4 win over Notre Dame College, knocking 10 hits in the game. Wedgeworth connected for three RBI once again, going 2-for-4 with a run scored and a double. Jeana Erickson had a double as part of a 2-for-3 performance, scoring twice with an RBI. 

Mobile started its day with a 9-4 win over bethel. That game featured 12 hits from each team, and Mobile had two players turn in 3-for-3 performances at the plate in their upset win over previously undefeated Bethel. Jineth Pimentel went 3-for-3 with four RBI, a double and a stolen base. Catcher Kirstyn Joiner was also 3-for-3 with a run scored and one RBI. Mobile’s second game of the day was the last one to finish as the Rams defeated Indiana University Southeast by a score of 4-3 in eight innings. 

The Lady Chaparrals of Lubbock Christian blazed through their final day of play at the NAIA Leadoff Classic. LCU opened with a 7-1 win over Milligan, blasting 15 hits in the game. Six of LCU’s starting nine hitters had multiple hits on the game with a home run from designated player Kelly Griego who went 2-for-4 on the game with three RBI. Raquel Hawkins went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI. Alyssa Gutierrez got the win, striking out five for the victory. 

In their final game of the tournament, Lubbock Christian put up big offensive numbers once again, scoring 13 runs on 13 hits against Indiana University Southeast. LCU got at least two hits off of each of the four Grenadier pitchers they faced in the game, including a home run as part of a 3-for-3 performance with two runs scored and three RBI from catcher Amanda Parsons. Left fielder Sabrina Hernandez was also perfect on the day, going 3-for-3 with three runs scored, three RBI and a home run. 

Other Notable Performances: 

• Notre Dame’s Meredith Harbarger posted a 3-for-3 offensive effort with a stolen base against William Carey in a 6-4 loss. 

• Walsh 2B Jessica Davidson went 2-for-4 against Milligan with a three-run home run, four RBI, two runs scored and a triple. Walsh lost the game, 7-6. 

• Krista Goodlet, right fielder from Lee, hit a grand slam against Bethel. Lee lost the game, 8-6.