Marissa Gonzalez struck out 11 College of Idaho Lady Yote batters and held them to three hits, as the No. 9 Lubbock Christian University Lady Chaps improved to 2-0 in Pool D play of the NAIA National Championship Tournament with a 6-1 victory Friday night at the Wilson Morgan Complex.
Gonzalez, who earlier in the day struck out ten batters in a win over Friends University, combined for her second consecutive game with at least ten strikeouts for the first time since the Lady Chaps competed in the Tucson Invitational in mid-March. She improves to 34-8 on the season. The only run she allowed was a lead-off homer by Stacy Smith in the top of the second inning. The homer by Smith tied the game at 1-1, as the Lady Chaps opened the scoring in the first inning with Raquel Hawkins hitting her team-leading 15th homer of the season and her second of the tournament.
LCU regained the lead in the bottom of the second inning with a two-out single by Lisa Stratton that scored Jade Espinoza and Amanda Parsons for a 3-1 advantage. The Lady Yotes made a pitching change heading into the bottom of the fourth inning replacing starting pitcher Brooke Judy with Donnae Carrell, but the change did not slow the Lady Chaps. Jessica Latson scored on a single to centerfield by Daniela Garcia, and Amanda Parsons scored shortly after Garcia's hit by advancing home on a wild pitch for a 5-1 lead. The Lady Chaps closed their scoring in the sixth inning with a bases loaded fielder's choice hit to third base by Gabby Woody that allowed Honda Rodriguez to score.
The Chaps, now 53-9 overall this season, finished the opening day of the championships with a 2-0 record with two pool games remaining. They will play at 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning against Trevecca Nazarene and then will wrap up pool play with a 3:30 p.m. contest against Olivet Nazarene. All games will be broadcasted online through www.LCUchaps.com and www.TSRNsports.com, and on the radio with the Trevecca Nazarene contest airing on Sports Radio 1340 AM and the Olivet Nazarene game airing on Fox Talk 950 AM. If the Chaps can garner at least one win, they will advance to bracket play on Monday.