GULF SHORES, Ala. - (Updated Schedule and Box Score) The Oklahoma City Stars got another strong performance from Lily LaVelle and used three runs over the final two innings to eliminate Auburn Montgomery (Ala.), 4-1, Monday in double-elimination bracket play at the 2012 NAIA Softball National Championship. There was roughly a 2-hour and 40-minute delay due to lightning in the Gulf Shores area.
Oklahoma City will battle Cal State San Marcos on Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. CDT. The event is being held at the Gulf Shores Sportsplex for the second consecutive year.
LaVelle (41-4) limited the Warhawks to one unearned run on two hits in a complete-game effort. She struck out 10 and walked four to outduel Cassie Daniels, who gave up three earned runs on eight hits in 7 innings of work in the circle.
Oklahoma City scored first in the top of the first inning, turning an error, base hit, double steal and double play grounder into a 1-0 lead. From there, Daniels and LaVelle settled down and traded zeroes until the final two innings.
Clinging to the 1-0 lead in the top of the sixth, the Stars posted two runs on three hits. With two outs, Jamie Rateliff produced a RBI-double and Angela Lovelady followed with a run-scoring single to give LaVelle some cushion. Auburn Montgomery finally got on the board in the sixth with a walk, single and error, but it was not enough.
LaVelle paced the Stars with a 2-for-4 evening at the dish, while Rateliff and Lovelady each finished with a hit and RBI. Shea Driggers and Haley Johnson accounted for the only two Warhawk hits in the ball game.
Auburn Montgomery, in its first-ever National Championship, ends its season at 42-20.