By Chad Waller, NAIA Director of Communications and Sports Information
Pictures by www.NAIAPictures.com
COLUMBUS, Ga. – (Box Score) Kelsey Floyd’s RBI single in the top of the eighth was the difference as No. 8 seed Reinhardt (Ga.) eliminated No. 7 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.), 2-1, in eight innings at the 2013 NAIA Softball National Championship final site at the South Commons Softball Complex on Monday. The victory for the Lady Eagles comes two days after a heart-breaking 7-6 loss to top seed Concordia (Calif.).
Reinhardt stays alive in the loser’s bracket and will face the loser of No. 10 Spring Hill (Ala.) and No. 6 Williams Baptist (Ark.) Tuesday at 4 p.m. EDT. Auburn Montgomery ends its season with a 45-12 record.
The game was tied 1-1 until Reinhardt came to bat in the top of the eighth inning. After a strikeout, Alexis Chumbler reached on a bunt single and advanced to second on a wild throw. She went to a third on a single by Haley Brannon before Floyd sent her home on the base hit.
The Warhawks struck first with a Kayla Hale solo homer to centerfield in the second inning. That laser was her 12th of the season. Reinhardt tied the score up in the third thanks to sloppy Auburn Montgomery defense. Lindsey Booker led off with a single to leftfield. After a strikeout, a misplayed grounder allowed Chumbler to reach. Booker then stole home on a double-steal to make the score even at 1-1.
Reinhardt hurler Maddie Monroe made the pitches when she needed to. She stranded 11 Warhawks on base and finished with three strikeouts. She improved to 28-2 on the year.
Auburn Montgomery starter Cassie Daniels was again the workhorse but came out on the losing end. She finished with 13 strikeouts and allowed two runs (one earned) on eight hits in 8.0 innings. The Valley Grande, Ala., native tossed all of her team’s innings in the championship, which ended at 28.1 innings. She combined to fan 39 strikeouts.
Reinhardt’s Booker ran her batting average to .500 (4-for-8) in the championship with two hits today.
Haley Johnson and Emma Johansen each recorded a pair of hits to lead Auburn Montgomery at the plate.
The championship is a 10-team, double-elimination event hosted by the Columbus Sports Council. This is the 33rd annual championship and takes place in the state of Georgia for the first time in NAIA softball history.
For more information on the national championship, click here.