9-4 Loss Ends 2014 Campaign
Columbia, Ky.–The Statesmen softball team came up short in the consolation bracket, closing out its 2014 year with a 9-4 setback to #4 seed Cornerstone (Mich.) at the NAIA National Championship Opening Round Tuesday.
Similar to Monday’s loss to #2 Lindsey Wilson, #3 William Penn (36-20) was narrowly outhit, just 12-9 on Tuesday. Although it did manage to get on the board after Monday’s shutout, the navy and gold unfortunately could not get enough scoring to stay alive in the postseason.
The Golden Eagles (26-18), who were eliminated later in the day by top-seeded Saint Xavier (Ill.), scored first with one run in the top of the first. WPU tied it up in the bottom half when Jessica Christensen (So., Marysville, Wash., Sociology) singled home Sydney Edwards (Jr., Galesburg, Ill., Psychology & Biology).
Cornerstone responded with four straight, knocking Jennifer Whitehead (Sr., Oskaloosa, Iowa, Biology) out of the game after 1 2/3 innings.
Brittanee Grove (Jr., Runnells, Iowa, Elementary Education) replaced Whitehead (26-10) in the second frame and helped her own cause with a two-run home run in the third to make it 5-3. It was her 17th roundtripper of the year, tying the school single-season record set by Khyia Lewis and Bri Rowley in 2012.
Both sides scored in the fourth with CU putting two across and WPU getting one with Ashlee Dennis (Jr., Loveland, Colo., Biology) bringing around pinchrunner BreeAnne Chism (Sr., Fullerton, Calif., Psychology) on a sacrifice flyout. The game’s final two runs, however, were tallied by the Golden Eagles.
In a contest that featured two Statesmen errors (one for CU), Whitehead allowed four runs (one earned) on three hits. She struck out one with two walks. In her relief outing, Brittanee Grove permitted five runs (four earned) on nine hits in 5 1/3 frames. She had five strikeouts against two walks.
Edwards finished 2-for-3, while Christensen and Malloree Grove (Sr., Runnells, Iowa, Physical Education) went 2-for-4.
The loss ends the collegiate careers of seniors Veronica Castro (Riverside, Calif., Elementary Education), Chism, Malloree Grove, Steviee Grove (Runnells, Iowa, History/Government), Ashley Olson (Norwalk, Calif., Biology), and Sonia Ray (San Diego, Calif., Physical Education).