COLUMBUS, Ga. – () A solo home run by junior left fielder Andrea Whelan in the ninth inning propelled No. 7 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) to a 1-0 victory over No. 10 College of Idaho, in the first round of the 2014 NAIA Softball World Series at the South Commons Softball Complex on Friday.
The Blue Raiders (49-9) move into the winner’s bracket of the double-elimination event and will meet No. 2 Auburn Montgomery (Ga.) Saturday at 4 p.m. EDT. The Lady Yotes (33-17) play the loser between No. 4 St. Gregory’s (Okla.) and No. 5 Reinhardt (Ga.) in an elimination game Saturday at 1 p.m.
The loss spoiled a strong pitching performance by the Lady Yotes senior pitcher Nickayla Skinner, who struck out 15 batters and had a perfect game through seven innings as well as a no hitter until Whelan’s game-winning hit in the ninth. Sophomore Abbi Goedde was hit by a pitch in the eighth inning to end Skinner’s perfect-game bid.
“It turned into an unbelievable pitching duel,” LWC coach David Dews said. “Neither one of them deserved to lose, both pitched well enough to win. We just got a break and were able to take advantage of it.”
Junior Jordan Hood (pictured) went the distance for the Blue Raiders striking out seven and improving her record to 25-2 overall.
The Lady Yotes had four hits, two by sophomore shortstop Katie Rowe. Senior center fielder Ashley Van Horne and junior first baseman Alexis Macias had the other two hits, both doubles.
In the top of the ninth, Whelan hit her ninth home run to help the Blue Raiders post their NAIA team leading 84th home run of the season.
“We were just trying to put the ball in play.” Dews said. “The other pitcher did a tremendous job commanding the zone. She was very tough on the hitters. Andrea got a good pitch, put a good swing on it and it barely went out.”
For the Lady Yotes, Macias led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a double. Freshman Madison Cuahing entered the game as a pinch hitter but was left stranded at second base to end the game.
Lindsey Wilson improves to 6-4 in the World Series, while College of Idaho falls to 3-5 all-time at the event.
The 34th Annual Softball World Series is a 10-team, double-elimination event hosted by the Columbus Sports Council for the second-straight year.
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