Story by Chad Waller, Director of Communications & Sports Information
Pictures courtesy of Rick Dominowski, Click HERE to order
SIOUX CITY, Iowa – (Box Score) Freshman Breena Smith turned in the NAIA World Series’ first dominating pitching performance as No. 8 Marian (Ind.) took down No. 9 Williams Baptist (Ark.), 2-0, at the 36th Annual NAIA Softball World Series, presented by Security National Bank and Morningside College. Smith twirled a two-hit, complete-game shutout, and finished with eight strikeouts.
The Knights, who are appearing in just their second all-time NAIA World Series and first since 2003, head to the winner’s bracket to tangle with top-seed Oklahoma City Saturday at 7 p.m. CDT.
The offense came with one swing of the bat in the top of the second inning. After Mackenzie Reeder opened the frame with a single, Marian’s Sam Pash pounded a two-run homer over the right-field fence. It was Pash’s fifth of the year.
Overall, the Knights posted 10 hits and had chances to score, but left eight runners stranded.
Smith clamped down on the Williams Baptist bats. She worked around three defensive errors, but still did not allow an Eagle base-runner past second base. With her fifth strikeout of the game, Smith notched a season milestone with her 200th strikeout in the fourth inning.
Smith, who entered the game ranked in the top 10 nationally in both wins and ERA, moved to 28-5 on the year. The native of Indianapolis, Ind., became the 14th NAIA pitcher this year to reach the 200-strikeout threshold.
Eagle pitcher Rylee Rogers suffered the loss as she dropped to 25-10. She gave up two runs on 10 hits and struck out four batters.
Offensively, Marian’s Logan Personett finished with four singles in four plate appearances. She added a stolen base. Erica Miller went 2-for-4 for the Knights.
Jordyn Barkowsky and Molleigh Gray each posted a hit for Williams Baptist.
Eleven of the 12 combined hits today were singles.
Williams Baptist falls to the loser’s bracket to meet up with the loser of No. 4 Saint Xavier (Ill.) and No. 5 Simpson (Calif.) Saturday at 10 a.m.
The double-elimination event is being played out at the Elizabeth & Irving Jensen Softball Complex. The City of Sioux City and Morningside College serve as official hosts for the second-straight time. For more information on the 2016 NAIA Softball World Series, click here.