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Two Teams Defeated After First Full Day at NAIA Leadoff Classic

 Bethel and Lubbock Christian remain undefeated following Friday’s schedule at the NFCA NAIA Leadoff Classic. A total of 16 games were played at the Frank Brown Park complex in Panama City Beach, Fla., and 14 of the 16 teams playing in the tournament lost at least one game on Friday. 

Bethel College once again won both of its games, squeaking out an eight-inning 7-6 win over Faulkner in the first game of the day, before defeating William Carey by a score of 6-0. 

In the opener, Bethel capitalized on two-RBI games from Katie Boocher, Sarah Rassi and Mandy Cripe. Boocher went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and a pair of home runs. Rassi was 1-for-4 with a two-run home run and Cripe turned in a 4-for-4 performance with a run scored, three triples and a home run in the contest. Rachel Zirille started for Bethel, pitching five innings and striking out two before yielding the circle to Boocher who earned the win after three innings in the circle. 

Against William Carey, the Pilots posted five runs in the first three innings and added a sixth run in the top of the fifth. Cripe was hot once again, going 2-for-3 at the plate with two runs scored and a home run. Catcher Brittney Fisher contributed two RBI and a run scored on a 2-for-4 afternoon with a double. Brittney Hire pitched a seven-inning three-hit shutout, striking out five for the win. 

Lubbock Christian needed only six innings to defeat Lee by a 9-1 margin in the day’s opener. Ginalee Davis led the team offensively, going 3-for-4 with two RBI, two runs scored and a double in the game. Honda Rodriguez also had a pair of RBI, going 1-for-3 with a run scored. Kelly Griego and Clarissa Maldonado each contributed a home run in the contest. Alyssa Gutierrez started in the circle and got the win for the Chaparrals, striking out four while pitching five innings. Jori Rodgers pitched the sixth, striking out one. 

After resting their bats for a “game off,” LCU returned to the diamond at 4 p.m., defeating Auburn-Montgomery by a 5-0 margin. Griego twirled a four-hit, four-strikeout shutout, earning the win for the Chaparrals. Offensively, Ginalee Davis went 3-for-4 with three RBI, two runs scored, two doubles and a home run. Griego helped her own cause with an RBI on the day as well. 

Other notable performances on the day include: 

• Mobile catcher Kirstyn Joiner went 2-for-2 with an RBI in the Rams 3-2 eight-inning win over Olivet Nazarene. Mobile Pitcher Leslie Pickette struck out 10, earning the win in that contest. 

• Larke Nightengale, left fielder for William Carey, had a four-RBI game against Indiana University Southeast. She went 2-for-3 with four RBI, a double, a triple and a run scored. Teammate Jeana Erickson went 2-for-2 with a run scored, two RBI and a sacrifice fly in that same game. 

• Milligan put together a big offensive game against Indiana University Southeast, scoring 12 runs on eight hits. Leading the way offensively for the Buffaloes, 1B Jessica Blevins went 2-for-3 with three RBI, a run scored and two doubles. 

• Biola SS Krista Johnson turned in a 3-for-4 game against Walsh, scoring two runs and two RBI including a pair of doubles. Her teammate Brittany Bury went 3-for-5 in the Eagles loss to Olivet Nazarene (5-4, 10 innings), with one RBI in the contest. 

• Auburn-Montgomery pitcher Brandi Richards struck out 11 as she twirled a seven-inning two-hit shutout to get the win over Notre Dame College (6-0) 

• Shorter pitcher Libby Munson struck out 10 against Morningside, but came out on the short end of a 2-1 score. Morningside right fielder Kylie Tirado had the critical hit in the game, a two-run home run in the top of the second inning. 

• William Penn pitcher AshleyJohnson pitched a one-hit shutout with eight strikeouts as her Lady Statesmen defeated Walsh 5-0. Tyanna Helton had a three-run homer in the third inning, while shortstop Ashley Stream went 2-for-2 with two runs scored in the game. Designated player Ashley Gustin was also 2-for-3 for William Penn in that game. 

• Notre Dame pitcher Tara Meyer pitched a two hitter as the Blue Falcons defeated Faulkner, 2-1. 

• Shorter’s Amanda Rogers went 2-for-4 with four RBI against Milligan. Both hits were home runs.