GULF SHORES, Ala. - (OIT vs. SGU Box Score) (SU vs. MU Box Score) Defending champion Oregon Tech made three first-inning runs stand up and Shorter had big late innings in Pool G action today at the NAIA Softball National Championship. Oregon Tech held on for a 3-2 win over St. Gregory's (Okla.), while Shorter cruised past Madonna (Mich.), 8-2. The event is being held at the Gulf Shores Sportsplex for the second-straight year.
Shorter and Oregon Tech will play for the Pool G championship tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. CDT. In the other pool game, St. Gregory's and Madonna face off at 9:30 a.m.
The Hustlin' Owls backed up starter Taylor Schmidt with three runs in the bottom of the first. Schmidt helped her own cause with a single to left to push across two runs. Sara Coates followed with an RBI single to make the score 3-0.
St. Gregory's battled back with single runs in the sixth and seventh innings. Allison Conyers, who reached on a one-out single, scored on a fielder's choice in the sixth. Christen Gutierrez led off the seventh with a triple to right-center. She was driven in on a Caitlin O'Hagan single. However, the Cavaliers stranded O'Hagan at first to end the game.
Schmidt, who earned the complete-game win yesterday versus Madonna, went the distance today. She recorded three strikeouts, walked two and allowed two runs (one earned) on six hits. Devon Frazier was struck with the loss for St. Gregory's as she gave up three runs (none earned) on five hits. She struck out seven.
The Hawks took care of Madonna with a big fifth inning. Trailing 2-1, Shorter compiled four hits and used two Madonna errors to put the game away. Maddie Bray had the inning's highlight with a single that produced two runs. Amanda Dailey homered in the sixth to hand Shorter an 8-2 lead.
Madonna got a two-run blast off the bat of Jackie Barley for the lone offense in the third frame.
Bray turned to 15-5 on the year with 4.2 innings of relief work for the Hawks. Charlsie Broome led Shorter with three hits and two runs scored. Dailey and Emily Clements finished with two hits apiece.
Kristen Drabek and Barley each came away with two hits.
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