Story by Chad Waller, Director of Athletics Communications & Media
Pictures courtesy of Cindy Potter
CLERMONT, Fla. – (Box Score) (Bracket) No. 8 Southern Oregon needed three pitchers to stave off No. 7 Warner (Fla.), 4-3, in an elimination game Monday at the 2017 NAIA Softball World Series at Legends Way Ballfields. The 37th annual event is hosted by PFX Athletics for the first time. Follow along on social media with #NAIASBWorldSeries on Twitter (@NAIA), Facebook (@PlayNAIA) and Instagram (@playnaia).
Southern Oregon advances to play Tuesday at 4 p.m. EDT against the loser of No. 2 Columbia (Mo.) and No. 6 Corban (Ore.). Warner is eliminated and ends its season with a 29-15 record.
Warner was in prime position to come back from a 4-1 deficit in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Royals loaded the bases with one out. A lead-off double by Sara Bruno was followed by a walk, a force-out and a second free pass to load the bases. However, Southern Oregon pitcher Gabby Sandoval induced a pop-up for the second out. Then, Warner's Torey Scott drew a walk to make the score 4-2. The next batter, Caylin Delones, struck out swinging and the Royal rally ended there.
The trio of Gabby Sandoval, Karlee Coughlin and Victoria Mackey was the recipe for success for the Raiders pitching – Sandoval started and went the first 5.0 innings and then re-entered to notch the final two outs in the seventh; Gabby Sandoval entered in the sixth and tossed 1.0 innings and Victoria Mackey was credited with 1/3 of an inning… The three pitchers used ties a World Series record… In their first World Series appearance, the Raiders are now 2-1 in this event… In its third World Series appearance, Warner falls to 1-8… Warner out-hit the Raiders by an 8-4 count – Chantal Crockett and Sara Bruno each recorded two hits for the Royals… There were a combined 12 walks in the game – five allowed by Warner pitcher Chelsie Valentine and seven by Southern Oregon pitchers.
Player of the Game:
Southern Oregon junior catcher Harlee Donovan – she finished the game 2-for-4 with three RBIs and one run scored. Her first season triple in the top of the third inning cleared the bases and gave Southern Oregon a 3-0 lead. Donovan now stands with a team-leading 63 RBIs on the year, good for a top 20 mark in the NAIA. Prior to the triple, she had been hitless in the World Series coming up empty in her four previous at-bats.
How to Watch:
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.