Lady Bengals Win NJCAA Title
CLINTON, MS -- The LSU Eunice softball team won three straight games on Saturday afternoon while facing elimination, including an eight-run sixth inning in the deciding game, to capture the 2013 NJCAA Division II National Championship.
The Lady Bengals first defeated Des Moines Area Community College 1-0 Saturday morning before a 5-1 victory over Jones County to force one final game for everything, ending with an 8-6 victory in the clincher to grab their second national title in as many years and their third in program history.
LSU Eunice finishes the season with a 64-3 record, the most victories in a single season.
"It is just such a surreal feeling. It's hard to comprehend that all this happened today. It is an amazing feeling to witness the heart, fight and determination that happened today during these three incredibly close games today," head coach Andy Lee said.
"The way our team fought through the long day and found a way to win three games is something I can't say enough about. This team will go down as one of the best teams ever."
In the championship game, the Lady Bengals were down 6-0 heading into the top of the sixth inning before they hit around the in the batting order on the way to their eight-run inning, highlighted by Dani Cruickshank's three-run double, a two-run double from Taylor Boulet to tie the game, and an RBI single from Brooklynn Clark.
Elizabeth Delafield, the third pitcher of the game, tossed the final 2 1/3 innings, allowing only three hits while shutting down Jones County for the title.
Kayla Davidson got the start, allowing one hit and one run in the opening two innings before Raven Cole tossed the middle 2 2/3 frames (4 hits, 5 runs) to get to Delafield for the final seven outs.
Clark finished with three hits and an RBI in the final game, while Carey Alexis tallied two hits, including a double, and an RBI and Cruickshank finished with her double as her lone hit to clear the bases in the sixth.
In the first game against Jones, the Lady Bengals were down 2-0 heading into the fifth inning, where they scored five runs eh route to their 5-1 win.
The fifth inning included RBI singles from Boulet and Clark, an RBI sacrifice fly by Nolan, a bases loaded walk drawn by Codi Covington and a run scored by Caitlen Blanchard on a wild pitch.
Covington (RBI), Boulet (RBI) and Clark (RBI) all finished with two hits, while Cruickshank and Ashley Subervielle each tallied a hit.
Cole pitched five innings of relief to earn the win, allowing just two hits and one run while striking out six batters.
Against Des Moines in the opening game of the day, the Lady Bengals tallied just two hits, but saw Alexis connect on a two-out, RBI double in the top of the seventh to push LSU Eunice to the rematch games with Jones.
Cole tossed a complete game, allowing seven hits in the shutout while striking out six strikeouts.