Date: May 30, 2016
Score: (RV) Webber International University 4, (RV) Williams Baptist College 10
Records: (RV) Webber International University (31-16), (RV) Williams Baptist College (40-20)
Location: Elizabeth & Irving Jensen Softball Complex - Morningside College - Sioux City, Iowa
The Five Run Sixth Inning:
The (RV) Williams Baptist College softball team faced (RV) Webber International University of Florida in an elimination game in the NAIA World Series. Williams' 40th win on the season leaves them as one of the top six teams in the nation.
A lead-off walk to Brooke Mason (FR/Bald Knob, Ark. ) started a big sixth inning for the Eagles. Andrea Drake (SR/Columbia, Mo. )'s sacrificial bunt to the pitcher moved pinch-runner Leslie Garza (SO/Kingsburg, Calif. ) to second base. Ashley Lyons (FR/Vilonia, Ark. ) then sent a shot to the wall in left for a stand-up RBI double to give Williams a 6-4 lead. Haley Hambrick followed with a rocket down the leftfield line for a double, scoring pinch-runner Alexis Ingram (JR/Quitman, Ark. ), extending the lead to 7-4.
After a WIU pitching change, WBC used another pinch-hitter in Molleigh Gray (SO/North Little Rock, Ark. ), who launched a three-run homer to right center, her fourth this season, producing the final scoreline of 10-4 in favor of Williams.
"I was so happy because it was such a team win and everyone picks up everyone and depends on everyone on this team," said Gray.
"Our sixth inning was big for us," added Head Coach Laura Tucker. "We had a lot of people get in the game and contribute, capped off by Molleigh's three-run homer. Yesterday, Molleigh struck out and she bounced back today with a big three-run homer, so today was exciting for her."
Williams sent 10 batters to the plate in the sixth as the team scored five runs on three hits.
In the bottom of the sixth, Rogers was able to set down Webber International in order. She did not allow another baserunner until a lead-off walk in the bottom of the seventh.
Fireworks in the First:
After Madelyn Poe (SO/Beebe, Ark. ) watched four straight balls to start the game with a lead-off walk, WBC slugger Callie Brooks (SR/Monette, Ark. ) launched a two-run blast to left field, her tenth this season, to give WBC an early 2-0 lead. The homer for Brooks was her first hit of the World Series.
"I knew that more than likely the first pitch was going to be the best one, so I hit that pitch and hoped for the best," said Brooks.
Webber responded with a lead-off home run from second baseman Alyssa Householder. Rylee Rogers (JR/Conyers, Ga. ) settled in and got the next three batters out and Williams held a 2-1 lead after one inning of play.
"It was very important to score two runs in the first because Susannah was down on herself, so she told Callie to pick her up," said Tucker. "Obviously, Callie did with her two-run home run."
Three in the Second:
Ashley Lyons was able to reach base in the top of the second on an error from the WIU third baseman. Haley Hambrick (SO/Batesville, Ark. ) followed up with a hit-by-pitch to give the Lady Eagles runners on first and second with no outs. After a Jordyn Barkowsky (SO/Kingsburg, Calif. ) sacrifice bunt to the catcher, Lyons and Hambrick moved up a base. Poe followed up with a soft grounder to short. Her speed was too much to overcome, and her infield RBI single gave WBC a 3-1 lead. After Poe stole second in the next at-bat, Susannah Pugh (SR/Hernando, Miss. ) hit a grounder to the first baseman that was misplayed. Both Hambrick and Poe scored before Pugh was thrown out at second trying to stretch and Williams held a 5-1 lead after an inning and a half of action.
Rogers worked around a leadoff walk to keep Webber International off the scoreboard in the second inning.
The Middle Innings:
The Warriors had their lead-off hitter reach base for the third consecutive inning. Ashley Lyons caught a line-drive and fired the ball over to Hambrick to catch the Webber runner off first. Lyons fielded a grounder and fired it over to Hambrick for the final out of the third inning.
The Lady Eagles had a quick 1-2-3 inning in the top of the fourth. Webber responded with a big fourth inning. Warriors first baseman Megan Isoba came through with a clutch three-run home run to left to cut the Williams lead to 5-4.
Webber pitcher Erika Bellinger worked another 1-2-3 inning in the top of the fifth. Rylee Rogers followed suite with a 1-2-3 inning of her own as Callie Brooks and Brooke Mason caught two fly balls and a line-drive for the three outs.
Closing it Out:
After a 1-2-3 seventh inning for the WBC offense in the seventh, Rylee Rogers issued a leadoff walk in the bottom half of the seventh. WBC Pitching Coach Karisa Hendrix then went to Catherine Totty (FR/Haslet, Texas) to relieve Rogers for Totty's first action of the World Series. Totty worked a scoreless seventh to hold the lead and secure the win.
"Both of our pitchers did a good job of battling and staying in there," said Hendrix. "It was a different game than we have been having, but both of our pitchers battled."
The Lady Eagles will play the loser of the Oklahoma City/St. Xavier game on Tuesday, May 31, at 1 p.m. Check out www.wbceagles.com for more info on the WBC softball team in the NAIA World Series.