GULF SHORES, Ala. - (Updated Schedule & Box Scores) (Live Video Streaming) Brenau (Ga.) and Shorter (Ga.) are the last two unbeatens in the 2012 NAIA Softball National Championship after two sets of double-elimination bracket games Monday. In other action, Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) stayed alive to face Oklahoma City later today at 5:30 p.m. CDT and Cal State San Marcos moved on, and will face Central Baptist (Ark.) today at 5:30 p.m. Both of the games tonight are in the loser's bracket. Brenau and Shorter will do battle Tuesday, at 12:30 p.m., in the winners bracket.
Following a 4-3 win over second-ranked Cal State San Marcos earlier in the day, the Shorter Lady Hawks disposed of Oklahoma City and 40-game winner Lily LaVelle, 3-1, in a winner's bracket contest. Kayla Byrom held the Stars to one run on five hits in a complete-game effort, and the Lady Hawk bats got all the runs they would need in a two-run third. Following two quick outs, Jackie Castaneda swatted a home run just inside the left field foul pole, and then a hit-batsman, single and error plated the second run of the inning. Oklahoma City threatened in the fifth with two on and no outs, but only got one run on Angela Lovelady's RBI-single.
Auburn Montgomery stayed alive by dispatching Indiana Southeast, 2-1, in nine innings on Shea Driggers' walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth. Brandi Richards fanned 13 Grenadier batters in nine innings of work, allowing only one run on seven hits. Kayla Duke took the loss after giving up two runs on six hits in 8.1 innings of work. The Grenadiers had extended the game in the top of the seventh when Meghan McCrae produced an RBI-single. Katie Spain finished 2-for-2 for AUM and McCrae finished 2-for-4 with one RBI for Indiana Southeast.
Brenau stayed unbeaten in bracket play with an 8-4 win over Central Baptist thanks to a five-run first inning that saw the Golden Tigers bat around. Seven of the first eight hitters reached safely, including four-straight singles from Jenny Shepard, Ellen Black, Sally Duggan and Taylor Kelley that produced three runs. Black finished 3-for-4 with three RBI and Duggan went 3-for-3 with two runs scored for Brenau. Central Baptist got two hits from Jessica Tickle and two RBI from Kiara Bonner. Anna Maness picked up the win for the Golden Tigers, allowing one earned run on five hits in a complete-game effort. She struck out seven and walked five.
The Cal State San Marcos Cougars overcame William Carey's four-run second inning to win 7-5, and stay alive in double-elimination bracket play Monday. The Lady Crusaders plated four in the second, with Kaitlyn Perry and Jasmine Shelby producing RBI-singles. The Cougars answered with three runs in the fourth and two in the fifth. All the runs in the fourth came with two outs, with the big blow being Kaitlin McGinley's two-run single. Dronenburg sparked the two-run fifth with a leadoff homer. The teams combined to use seven pitchers and Cal State San Marcos' Kimberle Smith got the win after giving up two runs on three hits in 3.2 innings of relief.