April 29, 2013
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IRVINE, Calif. -- The No. 1 Concordia (Calif.) Eagles claimed their second-straight Golden State Athletic Conference-Cal Pac Athletic Conference Tournament Championship on Saturday in a 3-0 win over second-seeded Simpson (Calif.) at home. CU starter Katie Cotta threw her ninth no-hitter of the year, surpassing the NAIA single-season record of eight done by Rachel Murray of Union (Tenn.) in 2001. Cotta is currently three short of Murray's career record of 16.
Cotta fell one short of her single-game strikeout record with 16 on Saturday, coming up just a walked batter short of the perfect game. Emily Craig got the scoring started with her ninth homer of the year andAnnette Merjano went back-to-back with her seventh. Concordia scored three runs on four hits, leaving six on base.
Concordia left runners in scoring position in the first and second innings. Craig homered to straight away center with one out in the fourth to go up 1-0. Merjano followed with a bomb to almost the same spot. Bryana Simpson was hit by a pitch, stole second, and scored on Caitrin Debaun's single up the middle for the 3-0 lead. Concordia did not threaten past that and Cotta allowed only the one base runner, completely dominating the game.
Concordia (45-3) earns the automatic bid to the NAIA Softball National Championship Opening for the unaffiliated conference group of the GSAC and Cal Pac for the second-straight year. Simpson (34-26) will wait to see if they receive an at-large berth to nationals. Concordia has now been ranked #1, won the GSAC Championship, and Unaffiliated Conference group for two straight seasons.
"I couldn't be any more proud of our team this week," head coach Crystal Rosenthal said. "It's an honor to be able to host the opening round and the girls have earned the right to host these games."
The Eagles will host one of ten four-team double elimination opening rounds, May 13-15. The winners of these opening rounds advance to the final site 10-team tournament at South Commons Softball Complex in Columbus, Georgia, May 24-30. The Opening Round teams are announced on May 7 and check cuieagles.com as the game times will be announced next week.