By Chad Waller, NAIA Director of Communications and Sports Information
Pictures courtesy of www.NAIAPictures.com
COLUMBUS, Ga. – (Box Score) No. 2 seed Lubbock Christian (Texas) made two runs stand up for starting pitcher Courtney McGee in the 2-1 victory against No. 6 Williams Baptist (Ark.) at the 2013 NAIA Softball National Championship final site at the South Commons Softball Complex on Wednesday. McGee has now won all three championship games for the Lady Chaps and lowered her ERA to 1.00 in 21.0 innings pitched.
With the win, Lubbock Christian advances to take on No. 10 Spring Hill (Ala.) at 7 p.m. EDT tonight in the loser’s bracket championship. Playing in their first-ever semifinal, the Lady Eagles end their year with a 46-9 record.
“We're just really excited to be where we're at,” said Lubbock Christian head coach Darren Hays, whose team hit a school record with its 61st win. “We're really excited to have a chance to play a really good Spring Hill team with a really good pitcher.”
McGee got herself out of trouble all day and got some solid defense behind her. She forced Williams Baptist into a 1-for-13 effort on offense with runners in scoring position. The Lady Eagles left the bases loaded in the first and two runners on in the third, fourth and fifth frames.
“The whole key was Courtney McGee pitching really well for us,” said Hays. “She had to get out of some fires today, and she did a great job. She gave us a chance to find a way to win.”
McGee moved to a perfect 21-0 on the year as she surrendered seven hits and one earned run. She walked four and struck out four.
The Lady Chaps scored both runs in the bottom of the fourth with the aid of faulty Williams Baptist defense. With one out, Stephanie Rendon reached on an error by the shortstop. Pinch-runner Katlin Reed scored on a double by Diana De La Paz. The next batter, McGee, helped her own cause with a single to plate De La Paz. Both runs were unearned.
Williams Baptist fought back in the top of the seventh. With one out, back-to-back singles put runners on for the Nos. 4 and 5 batters. But, Callie Brooks grounded into a fielder’s choice for the second out. McGee allowed a run on a wild pitch to make the score 2-1. But the native of Yorba Linda, Calif., got a groundout to end the season for Williams Baptist.
For the Lady Eagles, Karisa Hendrix dropped to 25-7 on the year as she allowed two runs (zero earned) on five hits.
Williams Baptist’s Shelby Anderson went 3-for-4 to lead all hitters today. She came into the game 0-for-9 in three previous championship contests.
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.