Date: May 17, 2016
Score: (9) Lousiana State University-Alexandria 2, (RV) Williams Baptist College 5
Records: (9) Louisiana State University-Alexandria (47-11), (RV) Williams Baptist College (37-19)
Location: LSU-A Generals Field - Alexandria, La.
The (RV) Williams Baptist College softball team squared off against Louisiana State University-Alexandria in the winner's bracket of the LSU-A bracket on Tuesday afternoon.
Starting Off Strong:
Williams started the top of the first inning with its bats locked and loaded. Susannah Pugh (SR/Hernando, Miss. ) led the inning off with an infield single. Callie Brooks (SR/Monette, Ark. ) then reached first on an error. Brooke Mason (FR/Bald Knob, Ark. ) followed by launching a rocket to deep center for a two RBI double, giving WBC a 2-0 lead.
"I was looking for the fastball," said Mason. "She got behind in the count and I knew I had to take advantage of it."
Rylee Rogers (JR/Conyers, Ga. ) walked out to the circle with a lead before throwing her first pitch. After a walk to the second hitter, she worked out of the inning with no damage.
Second and Third:
Haley Hambrick (SO/Batesville, Ark. ) started off the second inning with a double in the right center gap. After Jordyn Barkowsky (SO/Kingsburg, Calif. ) bunted her over to third, LSU-A worked out of the inning with back-to-back strikeouts.
The Generals collected a pair of hits in the bottom of the second inning, but Rogers and the WBC defense escaped the jam without allowing a run.
Susannah Pugh reached on an error in the third and advanced to second on a Callie Brooks sac bunt. Once again, LSU-A was able to escape the jam with two infield popouts. Rogers came out in the bottom half of the inning and quickly retired the side 1-2-3.
The Middle Frames:
Jordyn Barkowsky started things off for WBC in the fourth with a single to right field. Leadoff hitter Madelyn Poe (SO/Beebe, Ark. ) then delivered a double that was over the head of the LSU-A left fielder that scored Barkowsky and gave WBC a 3-0 lead. Rogers retired the first two batters in the inning before issuing a walk. Brooke Mason made a nice glove side pick for the 5-3 putout and the final out of the inning.
The Generals retired the Lady Eagles 1-2-3 in the top half of the fifth. In the bottom half, LSU-A was able to string together a few hits, including a two-run single with the bases loaded to draw within 3-2 after five innings of play.
WBC got another run in the top of the sixth. Head Coach Laura Tucker once again looked to her bench for production and Molleigh Gray (SO/North Little Rock, Ark. ), who has had key hits this season off the bench, once again provided the spark as her RBI single to center scored pinch-runner Leslie Garza (SO/Kingsburg, Calif. ) and gave the Lady Eagles a 4-2 advantage midway through the sixth. Rogers set down the Generals in order in the bottom of the sixth.
"I was thankful for the opportunity and I was ready to help get us a bigger lead," said Gray after her pinch-hit single.
In the seventh, Callie Brooks hit a double off the left field wall with one out to give WBC another runner in scoring position. After Brooke Mason fouled out in foul territory behind first base, Andrea Drake (SR/Columbia, Mo. ) delivered a key insurance blow to center as her double off the wall scored Callie Brooks and gave WBC a 5-2 lead.
"I knew she was going to be coming in with the rise ball, so I knew I had to do something with it," stated Brooks.
Rogers collected a fly out to left, a strikeout and a popout to second to finish the game.
"It's very exciting to get to play in the championship," said Rogers. "It's an adrenaline rush, and I rely on my defense to have my back."
The Lady Eagles have moved on the the championship of the LSU-A bracket and will play the winner of LSU-Alexandria and Martin Methodist University tomorrow at 2 p.m. The winner of LSU-A and MMU will have to defeat WBC twice to advance to Nationals in Sioux City, Iowa. This is the second consecutive victory for WBC over a top-ten opponent.