Welcome to the Championship Round of the CIAA Softball Championships, where the Northern Division Champion Chowan Hawks will play the Southern Division Champion Winston-Salem State Rams. We’ll keep a live, running blog during the course of the game, which begins at 1:15 p.m.
OK, so we are having some trouble with the internet connection with the FSU Blog, so we will go with updates via the phone.
So bear with the speed and typos here and we will muddle through.
To get caught up, Chowan took a 1-0 lead on an RBI-single by Lacey Wilderboer in the second inning. Chowan threatened again in the frame, putting a runner on third with two outs, but WSSU got out of it.
The Rams put runners on second and third will two outs in the bottom of the second, but Chowan ace Christine Wright quelled the threat with a strikeout.
1-0, Chowan entering the third.
Bottom 3rd Shontel Haskins must play pool. How else can you explain the action she had on the ball? It was a dribbler on the third-base line, and spinning clockwise, the ball stayed right there and spun. Nothing Chowan can do, and with the bases loaded, it scores a run. Another example why two-out walks are always trouble.
Top 5th This is what Chowan wants: first and third with Tricia Gorman at the plate. Two outs. Let’s see who wins this battle between two of the CIAAs best: WSSUs Brittany Lane and Gorman.
It goes to Lane, who coaxes a groundout to third. Still 1-1.
Bottom 5th Leadoff walk, then muffed sacrifice, and WSSU has runners on first and second with no outs. That’s going to bring out Allie Kolezynski in relief of Wright. Kolezynski got the win earlier today by recording one out. She’ll need a lot more this time.
And she gets three. A strikeout, a sacrifice, and then on a two-out squeeze, Kolezynski makes the play just in time.
Top 6th Deep double to left puts runners on second and third with one out for Wilderboer, who hits a floater into short right-center to drive in a run. 2-1, Chowan, which is still threatening.
WSSU gets out of it without any further damage, giving itself a chance to come back. Only six outs left, though.
Bottom 6th Against VSU earlier, Chowan looked tight in the field late. Seeing it here now. A leadoff single, a hit batter trying to bunt, and now an error on a sacrifice bunt attempts. Bases are loaded with no outs.
And Pettus hits a single up the middle to tie the game.
But then Chowan makes a dazzling play, a shortstop-to-home-to-third double play.
At the end of the inning, the score is tied at 2.
Top 7th Chowans Liz Hipple comes to the plate with runners on first and second and two away. She pops it up to short, but she’s lost in the sun. But the ball is near the bag, and the second baseman makes the play for the third out.
Bottom 7th Another righteous spin keeps and bunt in play and allows Haskins to reach first. Runners on first and second with one out, and now Wilderboer comes on to pitch for Chowan. Hope Billings to bat for the Rams.
Billings grounds out, and the runners move up with two outs for Candice Spinks.
And we’ve got extras.
Top 8th Alex Allen finds herself up in a big spot again, with runners on first and second and one out. And she slaps an RBI-single to right for a. 3-2 lead.
And then Kolezynski reaches on a fielders choice to make it 4-2.
Now and Munro reaches on an error, Gormon drives in two to make it 6-2. Looks like a second game will be in order.
Bottom 8th WSSU won’t go quietly, and Kayla Woodbury lines a single into left field to plate two. 6-4, CU.
And it is another pitching chance for Chowan as Amber Matthews takes the rubber to face Cato.
And Cato walks on four pitches. Haskins grounds to second, but Kolezynski bobbles it. Everybody safe, and it is 6-5.
Loaded for Billings, who sends one deep into the LF corner. Foul.
And Billings whiffs on a changeup. Up to Spinks.
A rocket to short, and it gets by Munro. Two runs score, and WSSU improbably comes back to win the title, 7-6.
In earlier action today:
Welcome back to the CIAA Softball Championships, where we begin on the campus of Virginia State University with the consolation bracket championship game between Virginia State and Northern Division champion Chowan.
To get thing caught up, Chowan took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning on Liz Hipple’s solo home run, a frozen rope over the right-center field fence.
But Virginia State came right back in the top of the third to tie the game, egtting an RBI single from Alyssa Winston. Then in the fourth, VSU’s Sharron Lipford snacked a two-out triple, but came around to score on an error by the Chowan center fielder.
That’s how the game stands entering the top of the fifth inning, with VSU up 2-1, playing as a guest on its home field for the right to play Southern Division champion Winston-Salem State in the championship round, which is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. today.
Bottom 5th And Chowan has a chance here to get back in front, with runners on first and second with two outs. And they have the nation’s top run-producer, Tricia Gorman at the plate, who ahs hit the ball hard twice today.
And she hits it hard again, smacking a run-scoring single to score Allie Kolezynski to tie the game at 2.
Chowan has put together three straight hits here for the first time against VSU starter Jessica Mattia, and Megan Wade rips two balls foul down the left field side.
Make it three.
Make it four. But this one is fair, and third baseman Alyssa Winston makes the grab on a sinking liner to record the third out. Tied at 2 entering the sixth.
(Editor’s Note: This is the 100th post in the history of the Fayetteville State blog. And FSU is not involved. Still, congrats to the FSU Bronco Blog. (Looks around the room, tips his cap. Golf clap.)
Top 6th Lipford with another chance for VSU, and with outs running out, every run is the potential game-winner right now. Chowan has opened the door with an error, and runners are on first and second with two away.
Lipford with a slow roller to third, and Megan Wade gets the throw to first in time for a bang-bang out. Big play to pick up the shortstop Fahren Munro.
Bottom 6th Chowan now with runners at first and second with only one out. Mindy Byrd wth the first shot at giving Chowan the lead.
But Mattia gets the strikeout on her best changeup of the day, and now it’s up to Alex Allen with two outs.
Allen slaps it to left for the third out, and it’s on to the seventh tied at 2. Good outfield alignment there. There was a lot of room in straightaway left, and the outfield was shaded toward right. The ball was hit to left-center, and the fielder didn’t need to move much. Had she started straightaway, that mgiht’ve been the game-winning hit.
Top 7th Chowan opens the door after an error by Munro on a popup. And after a wild pitch, the runner moves into scoring position. One out, with Christinia Maye at the dish.
Strike three. Two away.
Ad a fly ball by Winston to left. End of the threat.
Bottom 7th And Allie Kolezynski reaches on a leadoff infield single. Lot of ways Chowan can play this now.
Munro sacrifices, and now it’s Gorman. I’d put her on here with first base open.
But Gorman helps out by hitting a lazy fly ball to right. Two away, with Kolezynski moving up to third.
Now it’s up to Wade to come up with a big two-out hit.
And she lines out to third…wait, the ball pops out of Takeia Jones’ glove. But she corralls it and throws to first just in time to nab Wade. One more step, and Chowan was in the finals. Great poise by Jones to make the play and step and throw.
Top 8th And again Chowan opens the door with a two-out error. First baseman Gorman can’t handle Munro’s throw, which was a tad high, but should’ve been caught. Runners on first and third. Four errors now for Chowan.
And Chowan is going to make a pitching change, bringing in the left-handed Kolezynski to pitch to Lipford, who ripped a triple and scored in the fourth.
And Chowan gets out of it. Kolezynski coaxes a grounder back to the circle, and makes the play.
Bottom 8 Winston with the error at short trying to throw to second for a force out, and now Chowan is in the driver’s seat with runners on first and third and only one out. Mindy Byrd at the plate.
Byrd is a little anxious. Tries climbing the ladder there.
Still anxious. Way ahead of that one. 0-2 count.
And Byrd looks at a low strike. Two outs.
Now it’s up to Alex Allen. And she lifts a soft single to right field. It drops in and scores Liz Sill with the game-winner.
Chowan wins 3-2 in eight innings, and will get another shot at Winston-Salem State at 1:15 p.m. to play for the CIAA Championship. Chowan gave up four runs in the fifth inning of Friday’s winners’ bracket game to fall 5-3 to Winston-Salem State. Chowan needs to win twice to take the title.