Story by Chad Waller, Director of Communications & Sports Information
Pictures courtesy of Rick Dominowski, Click HERE to order
SIOUX CITY, Iowa – (Box Score) Susannah Pugh’s RBI double in the top of the eighth inning was the difference maker as No. 9 Williams Baptist (Ark.) stayed alive with a 1-0 victory against No. 5 Simpson (Calif.) at the 36th Annual NAIA Softball World Series, presented by Security National Bank and Morningside College. The Eagles advance to play Monday at 10 a.m. CDT against the loser of No. 2 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) and No. 10 Webber International (Calif.).
Simpson is eliminated from the World Series with a 43-7 overall record.
The game was scoreless going into extra innings – the first such in the World Series since 2014 when Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) and College of Idaho were tied at 0-0 heading into the eighth. Pugh drove a liner to the right-center field gap that rolled to the fence. Madelyn Poe scored her 34th run of the year, sliding head-first in front of the catcher’s tag.
Outside of that offensive sequence, the game was highlighted by tremendous defensive play and stellar pitching on both sides. One particular play occurred in the bottom of the sixth inning with Simpson batting. Standing on first base, Bailey Akins, who led off with a single, attempted to reach third base on a sacrifice bunt, but was thrown out with the leftfielder covering third base. That halted a potential Red Hawk rally.
In the circle, Williams Baptist’s Rylee Rogers tossed 8.0 innings and allowed just two base hits. She struck out two batters and walked five. She sailed through three innings in order, but the others were rocky. The junior right-hander buckled down in the second and fifth innings as a Simpson runner was stranded at third base.
The Conyers, Ga., native allowed her fewest amount of hits (two) in a complete-game pitching effort since a 6-0 victory against Crowley’s Ridge (Ark.) on April 21.
Madelyn Poe and Brooke Mason each finished with two hits for the Eagles.
For Simpson, Bailey Akins and Kara Wall were the only batters to post a hit – both singles.
Simpson starting pitcher Caryle Avey, despite going the distance and striking out eight batters, dropped her first decision of the year. She fell to 21-1 on the year.
Stretch Internet, the NAIA’s official video-streaming company of NAIA national championship events, will be broadcasting all 19 games of the 2016 NAIA Softball World Series on the NAIA Network. The All-World Series package can be purchased for $29.95 or the day package for $9.95. For more information, including how to register for an account, click here.
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.