Westminster Softball Places Second in SLIAC Tournament
ELSAH, IL. -- The Westminster College Softball team overtook Eureka College and Spalding University to make it to the Championship Game in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC) Tournament. The Blue Jays faced undefeated Fontbonne University, but fell 1-9 in five innings. The Blue Jays finished their season with a 15-11 overall record and six Blue Jays were given SLIAC Honors.
The Blue Jays defeated the Eureka Red Devils 7-5 to start the day of games. The Red Devils lead-off hitter scored in the top of the first, but the Blue Jays scored three runs off four hits in the bottom of the first to give them the early 3-1 lead. Junior Lori Jones hit a two out triple in the second and was hit in by junior Emily Kesel. The Red Devils held on and scored a run in the fourth and three runs in the fifth to pull a 5-4 lead heading into the bottom of the fifth. Junior Brittany Lee hit a 2 RBI double to score junior Rai'an Harris and freshman Shelby Meyer and take back the game lead (6-5). Senior Kenna Cornelson had a lead-off homerun in the bottom of the sixth to put the Blue Jays up 7-5. The Blue Jays held the Red Devils in the seventh, took the game win and sent Eureka home from the tournament.
Junior Sarah Schneider was credited with the game win, coming in for relief. She pitched 2.2 innings and struck out six. Harris went 2-for-3 from the plate, scoring twice and grabbing one RBI. The Blue Jays moved on to play Spalding University for game five of the tournament.
The Blue Jays pulled out the 4-3 game win after five lead changes. The Spalding Golden Eagles scored the first run of the game, but the Blue Jays quickly tied the game up with a senior Talisha Washington RBI scoring Jones. The Blue Jays did not score again until the fifth. Junior Becca Rose hit a double and was brought in by Jones' triple. Kesel hit a fly ball to center field, but Jones tagged up and scored, grabbing the 3-2 lead. The Golden Eagles tied the game up in the top of the seventh, but the Blue Jays had the last say. Lee started the inning off with a single and advanced to second on an error by the pitcher. She later scored off Jones' RBI single, ending the game with a 4-3 Blue Jay victory.
Lee was credited with the win, pitching the seven innings and striking out five. With this win, Lee tied the school record for most wins in a season with 11. Jones went 2-for-3 from the plate, scoring twice and grabbing two RBI.
The win brought the Blue Jays to the Championship Game where they faced Fontbonne University. The Blue Jays lone run in the championship game came from Washington. Washington cracked a triple to left field and was later drove home by Harris on a hard ground ball up the middle in the third. The Blue Jays were unable to stop Fontbonne from scoring, and were short-gamed, losing 1-9.
The SLIAC All-Conference Awards and All-Sportsmanship awards were announced in between the first two games. Four Blue Jay Softball players were named to the SLIAC All-Conference Second Team: Lee (P), Morgan Shipley (1B), Kesel (3B) and Jones (OF). Harris was named to the SLIAC All-Conference Honorable Mention team and freshman Claire Gibby was named to the All-Sportsmanship Team.
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