GULF SHORES, Ala. - (Updated Schedule & Box Score) Sophomore catcher Kylee Rounsaville struck a walk-off home run on the first pitch in the bottom of the ninth inning as Oklahoma City recorded a 1-0 victory over Cal State San Marcos in an elimination game Tuesday at the NAIA Softball National Championship. Oklahoma City will advance in the tournament and play Brenau (Ga.) in an elimination game at 5:30 p.m. CDT.
The Yukon, Okla., native was one of five Oklahoma City batters to record a base hit at the plate, while serving as the catcher for senior pitcher Lily LaVelle, who recorded her sixth victory of the tournament. LaVelle struck out ten batters, including five in the first three innings.
Cal State San Marcos (55-6) managed six hits on the day, two by sophomore shortstop Alex Miller. Junior pitcher Courtney Allen took the loss, striking out two.
Cal State San Marcos had three hits in the first inning, including back-to-back singles by Alicia Ingram and Kaitlin McGinley. After an infield single by Miller loaded the bases, LaVelle managed to record a strikeout and lineout to end the inning. Cal State San Marcos ended up stranding 10 runners on base in the game.
In the third inning, Oklahoma City had runners at second and third with one out. Lee Ann Lopez attempted a squeeze bunt, however Tori Joyner was tagged out at home for the second out and a groundout ended the scoring threat.
Cal State San Marcos put two runners on with one out in the ninth inning. Miller, who started the inning with a leadoff single, was forced out at third for the second out, and LaVelle struck out the batter to close out the inning.
Rounsaville swung on the first pitch in the bottom of the ninth and cleared the fence down the left field line.
"I was struggling the whole game, but had a feeling that something was coming." Rounsaville said. "I wasn't expecting to hit a home run, I was expecting something off-speed and low and outside. She (Allen) brought me tight and in, and I turned on it and roped it."
The Stars look to continue their championship dominance with a national record eight titles and 109 wins in 26 appearances.