Late Rally Falls Short for WBC in NAIA World Series

Late Rally Falls Short for WBC in NAIA World Series

Score: (17) Marian (Ind.) 2,  (RV) Williams Baptist College 0

Records: (17) Marian (Ind.) University (48-10), (RV) Williams Baptist College (38-20)

Location: Elizabeth & Irving Jensen Softball Complex - Morningside College - Sioux City, Iowa

The Final Rally:

The Williams Baptist College softball team squared off Friday against Marian University (Ind.) in the first round of the NAIA World Series in Sioux City, Iowa.  Marian scored two runs in the top of the second on a two-run homer by Sam Pash, and pitcher Breena Smith was able to keep the Lady Eagles off the scoreboard to hold the 2-0 victory.

WBC would mount a rally in the bottom of the seventh when shortstop Ashley Lyons reached base on a Marian error, followed by Haley Hambrick reaching with a base on balls.  However, a foul bunt followed by a double play ended the game.

Final Reflections from the Coach:

"I thought we hit the ball hard, but we hit it right at people and didn't catch any breaks," said Head CoachLaura Tucker.  "We had multiple opportunities and we just didn't get the job done.  We didn't play our best softball today, but we still had a chance to win.  We will look to bounce back tomorrow and play with a lot of confidence going forward."


Starting the World Series:

The Knights started off the game with a single just to the left of center field.  Rogers then struck out the next batter for the first out of the game.  Madelyn Poe raced in to make the second out of the inning on a weak fly ball to shallow left.  Rogers got the cleanup hitter to pop out to foul territory by home plate for the final out of the inning.

WBC started a two-out rally in the first.  Callie Brooks drew a two-out walk and Brooke Mason was able to reach first on an error to give the Lady Eagles runners on first and second.  Marian was able to collect a strikeout to end the first.

Second and Third:

After a lead-off single, Sam Pash hit a two run home run to right field to give Marian a 2-0 lead.  Following another single to center, Hayley Overbay made a nice catch on a bunt in foul territory for the first out of the inning.  Jordyn Barkowsky made a fielder's choice for the second out of the inning, and Madelyn Poe gunned down the Knights runner who tried to score from second on a single to left for the final out of the inning.

In the second, WBC's Ashley Lyons lined out to short for the first out of the inning.  Haley Hambrick smashed one to the fence in left center, and the left fielder deflected the ball off the end of her glove to the center fielder, who made a nice catch on the ground for the second out.  Jordyn Barkowsky tried to start another two out rally with a single to right center, but the Knights were able to work out of the second with a strikeout.

For the third consecutive inning, the Knights collected a lead-off single to start the round. After a shallow fly out to Brooks, a strikeout and a lineout to center, the Lady Eagles were up to bat in the bottom half of the third.

The Lady Eagles went down 1-2-3 in the third.

The Fourth and Fifth Innings:

Rylee Rogers worked her first 1-2-3 inning of the afternoon in the top of the fourth. Ashley Lyons collected two of the inning's outs at short.

Brooke Mason reached on an error to start the bottom half of the fourth.  Pinch-runner Leslie Garza entered the game for her first World Series action.  After Andrea Drake's sacrifice bunt moved Garza to second, Lyons flied out to deep left for the second out of the inning.  Marian pitcher Breena Smith collected another late strikeout to end the threat.

The Knights threatened to score again in the top of the fifth, as they had runners on the corners.  Rogers escaped the jam with a pop out to Ashley Lyons in shallow left field.

Williams had its 8-9-1 hitters due up in the bottom of the fifth.  After a strikeout to start the inning, Tucker looked to her bench to spark the offense.  Pinch-hitter Molleigh Gray once again came through with a timely hit, as her single up the middle gave the Lady Eagles their second hit of the day.  Marian third baseman Logan Personett got the final two outs of the inning to keep the shutout intact.

The Sixth:

The Knights' leadoff hitter was hit by a pitch to start the sixth.  After a sacrifice bunt moved the runner to second with one out, WBC third baseman Brooke Mason made a nice play at third to catch the Knights runner off the bag at second and recorded the 5-6 FC.  Rogers struck out the next batter for her third strikeout of the game.

MU pitcher Breena Smith worked another 1-2-3 inning and ended the sixth with a strikeout for her eighth punch out of the game.

Up Next:

The Lady Eagles will play again tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. Williams will play the loser of St. Xavier/Simpson.  Follow for more updates.