By Chad Waller, NAIA Director of Communications and Sports Information
Pictures courtesy of www.NAIAPictures.com
COLUMBUS, Ga. – (Box Score) Behind the pitching of Courtney McGee, No. 2 seed Lubbock Christian (Texas) stayed alive in the loser’s bracket with a 6-1 victory over No. 4 Oklahoma City at the 2013 NAIA Softball National Championship final site at the South Commons Softball Complex on Tuesday. Both teams compete in the Sooner Athletic Conference(SAC) and met six previous times this year.
Lubbock Christian, who tied a school record for wins (60), next takes on the winner of No. 8 Reinhardt (Ga.) and No. 6 Williams Baptist (Ark.) Wednesday at 4 p.m. EDT. Oklahoma City ends its year at 51-15.
Starting pitcher McGee (pictured top left) went the distance in the circle for Lubbock Christian. She allowed one run on two hits and fanned a career-high nine batters to improve to 20-0. The stat line is against an opponent ranked in the top 10 in the NAIA in every major offensive statistical category, including first in total runs (492) and total hits (664).
“They are in our conference and it’s a big rivalry… so I wanted to come in here and win it and shut them down,” said McGee. “It’s win or go home. For all of the girls, it’s our last chance to play for a national championship and we really want to win it.
Lubbock Christian sent eight batters to the plate in the bottom of the first inning to take a 2-0 lead. After the first two players reached on a base hit, Oklahoma City pitcher Danielle Fox got wild. She uncorked a wild pitch as one run scored and she also walked in a run later in the frame.
In the bottom of the second, McKenzie Clemmons scored on a double off the bat of Megan Sullivan to give the Lady Chaps a 3-0 edge. Latainna Eltsosie followed with a run-producing single to tack on one more run.
Oklahoma City got on the board thanks to an RBI-single by Kyndra Holasek in the third inning. At that point, the Stars trailed 4-1.
With two outs in the fifth, Lubbock Christian put two more runs on the board for breathing room. Diana De La Paz drove in Sullivan and another run came home on an error by the leftfielder.
In the final two innings, McGee showed why she is a First Team All-SAC performer. With a runner at first and one out in the sixth, she struck out the next two Stars to end the inning. Then, she retired the side in the seventh and limited Oklahoma City to one run or less for just the seventh time this year (in 66 games).
Fox fell to 2-2 in the circle for Oklahoma City. She allowed six runs (five earned) on six hits. She walked four and posted four strike outs.
Clemmons led the Lady Chaps with two hits and she scored twice.
After a 3-0 loss back on April 12 in the team’s first meeting, Lubbock Christian has now out-scored the Stars 47-17 to win six-straight contests.
The championship is a 10-team, double-elimination event hosted by the Columbus Sports Council. This is the 33rd annual championship and takes place in the state of Georgia for the first time in NAIA softball history.
For more information on the national championship, click here.