GULF SHORES, Ala. - (ONU vs. AUM Box Score) (APU vs. WPU Box Score) Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) and Azusa Pacific (Calif.) each picked up victories on day one of pool play at the NAIA Softball National Championship. The event is being held at the Gulf Shores Sportsplex for the second-straight year.
Both teams picked up shutout wins, but that is where the similarities ended. Azusa Pacific run-ruled William Penn (Iowa), 15-0, in five innings, while Auburn Montgomery squeaked past Olivet Nazarene (Ill.), 1-0. AUM's Brandi Richards and Cassie Daniels combined on a one-hit shutout, with Daniels picking up the win with four innings of one-hit shutout relief.
Richards also finished 2-for-3 at the dish with the Warhawks' lone RBI. Cheryl Sendzik picked up Olivet's lone hit in the bottom of the fourth.
With both pitching staffs shutting down the offenses, AUM's Jyssica Pepper led off the sixth with a double. A sac bunt moved her to third, and she scored on Richards' RBI-double.
Azusa Pacific put on an offensive display in their victory, as the Cougars scored in each inning. They put up three or more runs in each of the first four frames. Five different hitters scored multiple runs and four hitters recorded multiple hits.
Brandi Andrews finished 3-for-4 with five RBI, two doubles and a home run, Jac Harkey finished 3-for-3 and Olivia Wilcox and Erika Marmolejo each scored three runs. Molly Miller finished 2-for-3 for William Penn.
The outburst started with three runs in the first and four in the second, as the Cougars took command right away. All three first inning runs came with two outs, with two coming on an error. The second inning also saw some two-out magic, as Marmolejo and Andrews drove in runs.
In Pool H on Friday, Azusa Pacific will face Auburn Montgomery at 11:30 a.m. CDT and Olivet Nazarene will battle William Penn at 4:30 p.m.
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