Story by Alfred Kojima, NAIA Media Assistant
Pictures courtesy of NAIAPictures.com
COLUMBUS, Ga. – (Box Score) Sophomore pitcher Brittany Lang helped manage to hold high-scoring No. 3 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) off the board with a complete-game 2-0 victory for No. 6 William Carey (Miss.), in the opening round of the 2014 NAIA Softball World Series at the South Commons Softball Complex on Friday.
The Crusaders (48-10) move into the winner’s bracket of the double-elimination event and will meet either No. 2 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) or No. 7 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) Monday at 7 p.m. EDT. The Tigers (49-4-1), who were shutout for the first time since May of 2012, will meet No. 10 College of Idaho in an elimination game Saturday at 1 p.m.
Lang allowed nine hits, including three by Tigers senior Hannah Gardner who finished the night 3-for-4. Lang also allowed two walks with two strikeouts. The sophomore moved to 24-3 on the year, notching her ninth shutout.
“Her biggest strength is allowing the defense to play behind her.” said William Carey head coach Wendy Hogue. “She’s really not going to overpower people, she’s going to make them put the ball in play and trust her defense to play behind her.”
The Tigers entered the World Series leading the NAIA in several offensive categories, including runs scored per game (5.62) and slugging percentage (.616), but stranded 11 runners on bases, including the bases loaded in the third inning.
The game was scoreless until the fourth inning. Junior Caroline Walker singled, moved up to second on the walk to senior Sarah Beckman, to third on a sacrifice bunt by senior Jasmine Shelby and scored on a RBI scoring fly ball by junior Hannah Cook-Kelley. The Crusaders held a 1-0 lead until the seventh inning.
With two outs in the seventh, junior Relanda McFarland reached on an infield single and scored on an RBI double by Walker.
Olivet Nazarene managed to get the tying run to the plate with one out in the bottom of th eseventh, however a fly ball to deep right-center field by junior Erika Tatum was caught by McFarland just short of the fence. A fly ball to left field by senior Cheryl Sendzik ended the game.
The 34th Annual Softball World Series is a 10-team, double-elimination event hosted by the Columbus Sports Council.
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