Sarah Mendez had 13 strikeouts and held No.21 Lindsey Wilson College to four hits, and Kim Frazier produced four runs-batted-in to lead No.5 Lubbock Christian University to a 6-2 win in pool play of the NAIA Softball National Championship at Sportsplex Friday afternoon.
Mendez made her nationals pitching debut and it was her first start in the circle since May 5th. She had a shaky start establishing the strikezone, as she walked two in the first inning, but she was able to strike out the side. The lone run of the inning was scored on a passed ball with the bases loaded for a LWC 1-0 lead. LCU was quiet offensively until a three-run third inning. Maddie Johnson surprised the Blue Raiders leading off with a bunt for a base hit. It was the first of three straight infield singles to load the bases. Mendez helped her cause tying the game with a single and Kim Frazier followed with a two-run single to complete the scoring and to bring an end to the pitching performance by starting pitcher Kristina Krupinki. Jordan Hood replaced her with two on and no outs and was able to retire three straight to end the threat. The Lady Chaps added to the lead in the fifth inning. Brittany Kent stole second base and then scored on an RBI single by Kim Frazier with a blooper to centerfield for a 4-1 lead. The Lady Chaps grabbed some insurance in the seventh inning, as Frazier drove in Mendez with a two-out single for her fourth RBI and Argee followed with a blast against the wind, which hit off the fence in left centerfield to score Frazier for a 6-1 advantage. A pair of singles by Lindsey Wilson in the bottom of the seventh inning led to a run for the Blue Raiders, but the rally was short-lived with Mendez striking out the side.
Frazier finished the game 3-for-4 with the four runs driven in. Kent (3-for-4) and Mendez (2-for-3) each had a multi-hit game for the Lady Chaps. Mendez improved to 21-1 with her 18th complete game of the season. She allowed one earned run off four hits in seven innings pitched. Krupinski fell to 3-2 with the loss, allowing three runs off six hits in two innings.
While LWC fell to 46-13 on the season with the loss, LCU improved to 55-8 on the season and they are 17-8 all-time in national championship play. To remain in contention to advance to bracket play, LCU needs No.12 Union (Tenn.) to defeat Indiana Southeast Friday night and then LCU must defeat Union Saturday at 3:30 p.m.