Lee Softball Wins Again In NAIA Opening Round

Tuesday, May 14, 2013
After struggling at the plate in a 3-1 win over Bethel (Ind.) on Monday evening, Lee’s bats came alive in the second day of the NAIA Softball National Championship Opening Round as the Lady Flames moved to within one win of a return trip to Columbus, Ga. and the final (10-team) tournament championship site.

Ten different Lee hitters pounded out 15 hits and (47-8) Olivet Nazarene was no match in Tuesday’s winner’s bracket action at Butler Field.
The Lady Flames took command with five runs in the second inning and never looked back in the 8-1 victory.

Lee advanced to the championship round on Wednesday at 1 p.m. In Tuesday's first loser's bracket game, Bethel (Ind.) stayed alive with a 1-0 win over the University of Indiana Southeast, but then lost to Olivet Nazarene, 7-2 in the loser's bracket final on Tuesday evening. Olivet and Lee are the two remaining clubs.

Freshman Lizzie Stevens set the torrid hitting pace for coach Emily Russell’s club. She was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate, posted an RBI and scoring twice. Meghan Macias stroked a pair of doubles, totaled two runs and knocked in another. Ana Coscorrosa had a double and a single, while Laurel Allen joined the two-hit parade with a pair of bunt singles.

Jennifer Ringle had a two-base, bases-loaded knock that cleared the bases. Dominique Hannah had a hit, RBI and scored. Charlie Wooden came off the bench to pinch hit and drilled a RBI single. Jenevieve Cena also was called on to pinch hit and promptly stroked a run-scoring double. Dezirae Parsons had a hit and scored, while Savanna Bell's double rounded out the 10-hit attack.

In the top of the second, Macias got the big inning started with a double down the left-field line. Stevens reached on a walk and Allen loaded the bases with a bunt single. Hannah got an RBI with a walk and Wooden stepped to the plate and delivered the key hit. Ringle climaxed the big inning with a double to deep right-center.

The Lady Flames added a couple of insurance runs in the fifth. Coscorrosa and Parsons singled and Macias collected her second double with a drive to right-center. Stevens followed with another base hit.

One insurance run came in the top of the seventh and the rally was again sparked by Stevens’ two-base blast to deep center. Bell added a perfectly placed double to left and Cena picked up a double that scored Stevens.

Coach Russell gave left-hander Jessa Watts only her 10th start of the season. Watts, who is recovered from an injury, worked three innings in the circle, allowing four hits and recorded a strikeout and a walk. Caroline MacAusland (15-4) came on in relief in the fourth inning and picked up her second straight tournament pitching victory for the 46-9 Lady Flames. MacAusland hurled four innings of two-hit ball. She allowed no earned runs, struck out four and walked one.

Erika Tatum was the only Olivet player with two hits. Justine Phillips, Bethany Holaway, Katie Megyesi and Jordyn Truelock had the other Olivet hits, while Hannah Gardner scored the only run for the Illinois club.

Caitlin Santefort (17-3) was the starting and losing pitcher. In 4 1/3 innings she surrendered 10 hits and allowed seven earned runs. Virginia McAndrews worked the final 2 2/3 innings and allowed five hits and one earned run.

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