Oregon Tech’s Title Defense Comes Up Short
Janelle Cromie Scores Oregon Tech's Only Run in 5-1 Loss
(Gulf Shores, Ala.) Shorter (Ga.) scored 5 runs (1 earned) in the first inning to defeat the defending NAIA Champions 5-1. Shorter wins Pool G with 3-0 record and will play on Monday at 10 a.m. against Pool B winner in double-elimination action. Defending National Champion Oregon Tech’s season ends with a 41-8 record with a 2-1 record in pool play.
Shorter (Ga.) starting pitcher Maddie Bray was impressive, throwing all 7-innings, giving up just 1-run and only 3-hits to pick up the win.
The Lady Hawks, in the midst of their sixth straight appearance in the NAIA Softball National Championship, won their pool for the third straight season. Oregon Tech (41-8) was denied a chance to become only the third repeat national softball champion in NAIA history after embarking on a surprising run to the title in 2011.
The Lady Hawks jumped on Oregon Tech’s starting pitcher Taylor Schmidt who had allowed just three earned runs through her first 14 innings in pool play. Schmidt didn't make it out of the first as Amanda Dailey and Maddie Bray hit RBI doubles and Whitney Hood and Kellee Stone hit two-out RBI singles to put Shorter up 5-0. The Lady Hawks sent 10 batters to the plate in the first inning.
Oregon Tech's best chance to get to Bray came immediately following Shorter's big bottom of the first as Schmidt was hit by a pitch to lead off the Owls' second and Kayde Schaefer followed with a double to put runners on second and third with no outs. Bray recovered however, recording three straight strikeouts to keep Oregon Tech off the scoreboard and set the tone for her 16th win of the year.
Oregon Tech got on the board in the fifth when Janelle Cromie doubled and then scored on a passed ball, but that was all the Owls could manage off of Bray.
Shorter's eight hits were spread among eight different players. Bray, Dailey and Jackie Castaneda each hit doubles for Shorter, which for the second straight tournament game played error free in the field.
Schmidt reentered the game late and took the loss after allowing five runs on five hits in 2.2 innings of work and finishes the season at 27-5 setting a new school record for wins.
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