Claremore, Okla. – The sixth ranked Williams Baptist College softball squad beat Central Methodist University 7-4 to advance to the NAIA opening round championship games. The win followed a 5-4 extra inning loss to host Rogers State University. The loss was WBC's first in the double-elimination opening round being played at Claremore, Okla.
Game one against RSU started well for the Lady Eagles as they stormed to a 4-0 lead through the top of the third inning. Karisa Hendrix was on cruise control but would be tested in the third.
The Hillcats crossed the plate three times in the inning cutting the lead to one run at 4-3. Despite both teams threatening, neither team added to its run total until the bottom of the seventh when RSU got one across to force extra innings.
The top of the eighth did not produce a run for Williams and Rogers came to the plate needing one run for the win. With the bases loaded and two outs, RSU hit a single to deep left to win in walk-off fashion.
The Lady Eagles outhit Rogers State 13-9 in the contest. Hallie Horton led the team, going 3-for-3 with a run scored.
Hendrix pitched a complete game, allowing five runs on nine hits. She struck out six batters in the game. It was only her fifth defeat on the season.
The loss meant WBC would enter the losers' bracket and the Hillcats advanced to the championship to meet the winner of the afternoon contest between WBC and CMU.
The Lady Eagles regrouped and came out with a 7-4 victory.
Neither team could muster a run until freshman Kayla Jones hit a lead-off solo home run in the top of the third. Jones finished the game 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two runs batted in.
Central Methodist responded with a run in the bottom half of the inning.
CMU would show some resilience by scoring three runs in the fourth and fifth innings but WBC added two insurance runs in the seventh which would be plenty.
WBC's record is now 42-7 on the season and 2-1 at the national tournament.
Williams will face Rogers State Wednesday, May 15 at 2:00 p.m., in the opening round Rogers State Bracket championship. If they win game one, they will play another game at 4:30 p.m., while if WBC loses it will be eliminated.