DECATUR, Ala. (May 14, 2009) - The defending NAIA champion Lubbock Christian University Lady Chaparrals opened up pool play Thursday at the NAIA Softball National Championship with Alyssa Gutierrez pitching a perfect game through 5 1/3 innings to lead LCU to a 5-0 win over Asbury College at Wilson Morgan Softball Complex.
Gutierrez cruised through the Eagles line-up retiring the first 16 batters she faced and seven by strikeouts. Her lone hit allowed came from pinch hitter Brittany Warren with one out in the sixth inning. Following hit, she was replaced by Kelly Griego. She pitched the remainder of the inning and Jori Rodgers pitched the seventh inning to close the game and keep the shutout intact. Asbury, who picked up a lead-off hit in the seventh inning off of Rodgers, was held to two hits in the game. Gutierrez is now 27-1 on the season.
LCU's offense produced all five runs in the opening two innings. Honda Rodriguez led off the bottom of the first inning with a double to right field and eventually scored on a hit by Raquel Hawkins. The Lady Chaps produced four runs in the second inning. Amanda Parsons led off with a double to right field and Sabrina Hernandez allowed her to reach home with a single up the middle. Lisa Stratton laid down a sacrifice bunt and Rodriguez hit a sacrifice fly to score Daniella Garcia, who was aboard on an error, for a 3-0 lead. Jade Espinoza and Ginalee Davis followed with run-scoring singles to close the scoring. Eight different Lady Chaps had hits, with Hawkins the only player to have two in the game.
Asbury pitcher Carrie Wilderman settled down after the flurry of Lady Chaps scoring. She only allowed two hits over the final four innings pitched. Wilderman allowed two earned runs off of six hits spanning six innings.
LCU (52-5) is now 1-0 in pool play and they play at noon Friday against Morningside College. Friday's game will be broadcasted on KKAM 1340AM The Fan.