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Softball Eyes First National Championship on Wednesday

Softball Eyes First National Championship on Wednesday

COLUMBUS, GA. (May 29, 2024) - The NAIA No. 1-ranked Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) softball team is one win away from a national championship title. They will face the winner of Jessup versus the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma (USAO) at 5 p.m. Eastern Time today.

Tournament overview

There are three teams remaining in the NAIA World Series heading into the games on Wednesday. The No. 1 seed Saints, No. 6 seed USAO and No. 7 seed Jessup are all in contention for the title. The USAO Drovers and Jessup Warriors will battle in an elimination game at 2 p.m. Eastern Time. The winner of the contest will need to win twice against the Saints in the championship. 

Saints overview

The Saints are the No. 1 seed and have won all three games so far. They defeated Madonna University 3-0, Oregon Tech 3-0 and USAO 4-3. 

OLLU downed USAO yesterday to advance to the championship. The Drovers struck first early in the contest. They plated two runs in the top of the second inning which also included a fielding error by the Saints. Grace Ross responded in the bottom of the frame with a solo home run over the left field fence. The Drovers tacked on another run in the fifth inning when they scored from third base on a passed ball. Cassandra Valdez regrouped by hitting a double down the line in the bottom of the inning to score Kristee SalasMadison Garza followed with a single that knotted the game 3-3. Both scoring plays were with two outs. AJ Flores was the hero for the Saints in the eighth inning. She hit a home run over the center field fence to surge the Saints into the championship game. Valdez picked up another win in the circle after pitching a complete game with eight strikeouts. The Saints will look to make program history tomorrow. 

USAO overview

The Drovers won two games before losing to the Saints yesterday. They beat Central Methodist University (CMU) 8-3 and Jessup University 5-4. They totaled 12 hits against CMU and rallied from behind against Jessup by scoring five unanswered runs. Sophie Williams has pitched all three games and is 29-5 in the circle. She threw 112 pitches against the Saints on Tuesday. Kamryn Jones batted 2-for-3 against OLLU, which included a double. The Drovers are 49-8 this season.

Jessup overview

The Warriors avoided elimination with a walk-off home run in their first game yesterday. They trailed 3-1 in the seventh inning when Sam Lorge smacked a three-run home run to advance in the tournament. They rode that momentum into another elimination matchup against No. 5 seed Oregon Tech. The Warriors won 4-3 again in a contest that was back-and-forth. The game was tied 2-2 heading into the sixth inning. The Warriors plated one run in the sixth and one in the seventh inning. Oregon Tech attempted a comeback in the bottom of the final frame but fell short. 

Tournament information

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