GULF SHORES, Ala. - (SNU vs. UM Box Score) (CSUSM vs. TWU Box Score) Southern Nazarene (Okla.) earned its first championship win in school history and Cal State San Marcos run-ruled Texas Wesleyan in Pool B action at the NAIA Softball National Championship on Thursday. The event is being held at the Gulf Shores Sportsplex for the second-straight year.
In their first championship trip, the Crimson Storm got superb pitching from Kaci Crawford as they handled the host team, Mobile (Ala.), 6-1. Crawford, a senior from Paris, Texas, had a no-hitter through 5 2/3 innings. Mobile's Brittany Dunson posted the team's first hit, a double, with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning. By that point, the Southern Nazarene offense had done the damage.
In the top of the first inning, the Red Storm batted around the horn en route to three runs. Four singles put runners on base, but Mobile also committed two errors as all runs were unearned in the frame. Southern Nazarene pushed across one more in the second and two in the seventh. Overall, the offense churned out 12 hits.
Mobile's Kaci Pribanic knocked out her third home run on the season with two outs in the seventh inning. That hit snapped the shutout for Crawford.
Cal State San Marcos took a step towards advancing out of pool play for the second-straight year after a 10-0 victory in six innings. The pitching duo of Cortney Allen and Katie Wilkinson silenced the Texas Wesleyan bats to the tune of one base hit. Marissa Rangel was the lone Ram with a hit, a double in the bottom of the first inning.
After Rangel's base rap, Allen and Wilkinson retired 16-straight Texas Wesleyan batters. Allen tossed 5.0 innings as she struck out two. Wilkinson pitched the final inning in relief. In all, 17 of 18 Rams were retired on outs.
The game was scoreless until the Cougars put up six runs on six hits in the fourth inning. Cal State San Marcos, who extended its winning streak to seven games, played small ball with six singles. Alyssa Dronenburg walloped her team-leading 20th homer of the year, a solo shot, in the fifth, before three more Cougars scored in the sixth.
In Pool B on Friday, Southern Nazarene faces Texas Wesleyan at 3 p.m. CDT. The Cougars are scheduled to take on Mobile at 10 a.m.
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