Press Release from Arkansas State Athletics
With the bases loaded, third baseman Rachel Hinson powered a walk off triple in the eighth inning to lift Arkansas State University to a 1-0 victory over Rutgers University during the first day of bracket play in the National Club Softball Association (NCSA) World Series here Friday.
A-State advanced to play Ohio State Saturday at 11:30 a.m. The game will stream live on the softball Facebook page.
The day got off to a good start with the Red Wolves completing pool play by beating Northwestern University, 13-4, after an hour-long lightning delay in the early morning game. Following pool play by all schools, the teams were re-seeded for the afternoon bracket play. A-State was seeded third and scheduled to play No. 14 seed Rutgers later in the day.
“Our bats stayed hot in the Northwestern game,” stated Head Coach Keith Hinson. “But, we did have to play seven full innings to get the win. Rachel and Keely Curtis led the team with three hits apiece and drove in six RBIs combined. Lydia Mitchell drove in three runs.
“All three pitchers combined to get the win. That, with the two wins from Thursday, got us the three seed in bracket play.”
The Red Wolves faced Rutgers in the first elimination game in bracket play.
“That game was a pitching duel,” said Hinson. “It took us eight innings to cross the plate for the first time to give us the 1-0 win.”
Hannah Craig started on the mound for the Red Wolves and pitched two innings, giving up six hits, no runs and recorded a strikeout. Tiffany Taylor relieved Craig in the third to finish the game while facing 21 batters and giving up only two hits. She had eight strikeouts.
A-State had a scare in the sixth when Rutgers’ lead-off batter made it to second base on a short pop-up. Their next batter hit a grounder to second to send the lead-off to third. Taylor struck out the next batter and the last out came on a line drive to Ashley Scot on second.
A-State came to bat in the bottom of the eighth with the first batter being called out for an illegal hit. The next three hitters got on base. Hinson came to the plate with bases loaded and one out. She found the right pitch and drove the ball to the fence to bring home the winning run.