Oklahoma City Advances to Ninth Title Game
GULF SHORES, Ala. - (Updated Schedule & Box Score) Junior second baseman Angela Lovelady produced a 2-run RBI double in the sixth inning to lift Oklahoma City to a 2-1 victory over Brenau in the final elimination game of the 2012 NAIA Softball National Championship Tuesday night.
Senior pitcher Lily LaVelle pitched her second complete game of the day and earned her seventh victory of the tournament, which tied a championship record. The Bridge Creek, Okla. native struck out ten, including two in the bottom of the seventh inning, to preserve the win.
The win advances Oklahoma City (47-19) to their 13th national title game and will have to defeat Shorter (Ga.) twice to claim its ninth NAIA national championship.
The Golden Tigers (44-16), who were seeking their first-ever national championship game appearance with a victory over the Stars, took a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Junior third baseman Tiffany Schandera opened the inning with a double, moved to third on a passed ball and scored an unearned run via a wild pitch.
Oklahoma City did not take advantage of scoring opportunities early, leaving two runners on base in the third, fourth and fifth innings. In the sixth, Kylee Rounsaville was hit by a pitch and moved to third on a double by Magean De La Torre. After an out, Lovelady roped a double into the left field corner to score Rounsaville and De La Torre.
"I was really hoping she would give me something inside and happened to give me something middle in," Lovelady said. "I wanted to hit it as hard as I could to score those runs."
LaVelle surrendered two hits on the night, both to Schandera, along with one walk. Anna Maness took the loss in the circle for Brenau, striking out four.
Oklahoma City and Shorter will compete for the 2012 NAIA National Championship Wednesday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. CDT. If Oklahoma City defeats Shorter, an If-Necessary game will be played approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game.