Story by Chad Waller, NAIA Director of Athletic Communications & Media
Pictures courtesy of Paul Penders Photography, Click HERE to order
CLERMONT, Fla. – (Box Score) (Bracket) Indiana Wesleyan batters saved the best for last in the 3-2, eight-inning victory against No. 8 seed Faulkner (Ala.) in the elimination bracket of the 2018 NAIA Softball World Series at Legends Way Ball Fields. The fifth-seeded Wildcats plated two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to tie the score 2-2. Then in the bottom of the eighth, Lauren Buckley rapped a single to center to score Aubrie Eckert and walked-off Indiana Wesleyan. The 38th annual event is hosted by PFX Athletics for the second-straight year.
- Indiana Wesleyan survives for another day and will play the loser of No. 2 Oklahoma City / No. 10 Columbia (Mo.) Monday at 10 a.m. EDT in the elimination bracket.
- With a 0-2 record in the World Series, Faulkner ends its season with a 48-16 overall mark.
Key Turning Point of the Game:
- In the bottom of the eighth inning, Indiana Wesleyan’s Aubrie Eckert led off with a single to right. She was pushed over to second on a sacrifice. After an infield single put runners at first and second, the stage was set for Lauren Buckley.
- The junior leftfielder delivered a solid line drive to centerfield and Eckert crossed home without a throw.
- Indiana Wesleyan’s Lauren Buckley finished 3-for-5 and tied a season-high for hits, done twice previously.
- Buckley extended her hitting streak to six-straight contests.
- In the last six games, Buckley owns a .435 (10-for-23) batting average.
- Victoria Boyer of Indiana Wesleyan tied Buckley for the game-high with three hits. Her two-RBI double with two outs in the bottom of the seventh tied the game 2-2.
- Kelsey Kooistra added a pair of hits for the Wildcats.
- The 14 hits for Indiana Wesleyan was the most in 15 games (April 27 vs. Bethel).
- For Faulkner, Abbigail Barron went 2-for-4 to lead the team.
- Faulkner lead-off hitter Hannahlee Harris started the game with a bang sending an 0-1 pitch to the right-field corner. She raced around the bases for an inside-the-park home run.
- Mckenzey Ridge entered in the seventh inning and got the credit for the win. She tossed 2.0 innings and did not allow a hit. She struck out one and walked one.
- Caitlin Perry – with 104 pitches – took the loss for Faulkner. She went the distance and struck out five.
- The team scoring first through five games is 3-2.
- The home team is 2-3.
- The higher seeds now hold a 3-2 record thus far in the World Series.
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