Story by Alfred Kojima, NAIA Media Assistant
Pictures courtesy of NAIAPictures.com
COLUMBUS, Ga. – (Box Score) No. 9 Simpson (Calif.) scored two runs in the sixth inning and a seventh inning rally came up short as No. 4 St. Gregory’s (Okla.) defeated the Red Hawks, 3-2, in second day action of the 2014 NAIA Softball World Series at the South Commons Softball Complex on Saturday. This was an elimination round game of the 34th annual event.
In the bottom of the seventh with two outs, Simpson junior Ryan Norton reached on an infield single. Senior Cherie DeJesus stepped in and struck a soft fly ball into shallow right center field. St. Gregory’s junior second baseman Courtni Clark raced back and denied the base hit to end the game.
St. Gregory’s (52-11) collected six hits, two each by junior Randi Yousey and junior Melanie Gladden. A third inning single by Yousey gave the Edmond, Okla., native her 100th base hit for the season. That mark stands No. 2 on the NAIA 2014 season list.
Simpson also had six base hits, two by freshman Courtney Thomas. The Red Hawks conclude the 2014 season with a record of 39-9 overall.
The Cavaliers scored two runs in the first inning on a two-RBI double by freshman Brooklyn Sparks. The score held until the sixth inning, when senior Catlin O’Hagan struck her second home run of the season for a 3-0 lead.
Senior pitcher Devon Frazier earned the win in the circle for the Cavaliers, allowing one earned run and six hits, while striking out eight to post her 20th victory of the season. The eight K’s tied a season-high for the All-Sooner Athletic Conference First-Teamer.
“We got such a tremendous effort from Devon Frazier.” said St. Gregory’s head coach D. J. Sanchez. “She kept us in a position to win, and although we were not exactly clean as we normally are, we did enough to win.”
Simpson pitcher Carlye Avey was hit with the loss, going all 7.0 innings as she struck out 3 batters and allowed six hits. She fell to 13-5 on the season.
The Cavaliers advance to meet either No. 2 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) or No. 7 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) in an elimination game Monday at 10 a.m. EDT.
The 34th Annual Softball World Series is a 10-team, double-elimination event hosted by the Columbus Sports Council.
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