GULF SHORES, AL (KCBD)– A three-run two-out rally for No.23 Simon Fraser University helped upset No.7 Lubbock Christian University 4-3 Friday afternoon in pool play of the NAIA Softball National Championship at Gulf Shores Sportsplex.
LCU Softball: Lady Chaps Fall to Defending Champions 4-3
All three LCU runs were driven in by Kayla Van Dieren, who went 4-for-4 at the plate. Her single to left-centerfield in the bottom of the third inning allowed LCU to take a 1-0 lead, as it scored Priscilla FaGaines from second base.
LCU led 1-0 with two outs in the top of the sixth inning and the Clan was down to their final four outs with no one on base when they started their rally. Brittany Mayers, Megan Durrant and Lauren Mew hit consecutive singles, and Rosie Murphy followed with a blooper behind the right side of the infield down the rightfield line for a two run double and SFU led 3-1. The Lady Chaps committed a trio of errors in the seventh inning and Kelsey Haberl's ground ball to Andrea Argee at second base took a big hop past Argee and it resulted in a key run scoring.
In the bottom of the seventh inning Van Dieren hit a two-run home run over the left-centerfield fence and LCU cut the deficit to 4-3. Kim Frazier came up with two outs and singled to left field, but she would be stranded at first base, as Latainna Eltsosie lined out to left field.
SFU pitcher Cara Lukawesky (16-8) allowed seven hits in seven innings, and Van Dieren, Argee and Frazier were the only Lady Chaps to record at least one hit in the game. Alyssa Freight pitched 6.1 innings and allowed three earned runs off eight hits.
LCU fell to 51-10, while defending champion SFU improved to 18-24. The Clan are in their final season of NAIA softball, as they are in a transition season as a member of the NCAA Div. II's Great Northwest Athletic Conference. SFU is 2-0 in pool play and LCU is 1-1. For LCU to advance, they would need to defeat Rinehardt University Saturday at 2:30 p.m., and for Simpson University to defeat Rinehardt University Friday evening and Simon Fraser Saturday. Saturday's LCU game will air locally as a "join in progress" on KFYO 790 AM.
Information from: Lubbock Christian University