Tigerville, S.C. – The North Greenville softball team advanced to the NCCAA National Tournament after defeating the #1 seed Lady Sailfish of Palm Beach Atlantic University on Saturday afternoon. The Lady Crusaders lost game one 9-0 before rebounding to win game two, 3-2.
In the first game of the day, Palm Beach Atlantic defeated Emmanuel College to earn a spot in the NCCAA South Regional championship game against North Greenville.
Needing a win to stay alive, the Lady Sailfish used nine runs on 11 hits to defeat North Greenville 9-0 and force a second game.
Laura Hopper picked up the loss as she pitched 3 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on five hits while recording three strikeouts. Courtney Campbell pitched 1 2/3 of relief, allowing two runs on three hits before Taylor Roof pitched the final inning, allowing four runs on three hits.
At the plate, Campbell was a perfect 3-for-3, while Kansas Wofford, Karli Taylor and Marielena Santos each recorded a hit.
In a winner-take-all game, the Lady Crusaders used a stellar pitching performance by Kimberly Robertson to defeat the Lady Sailfish 3-2 and advance to the national tournament.
Robertson, starting for the first time since April 9, pitched a complete game allowing two runs on five hits while striking out three batters.
Robertson’s clutch pitching led the Lady Crusaders to victory. In the fifth inning, Palm Beach Atlantic loaded the bases with no outs before Robertson struck out two batters in a row and forced the next batter to ground out to get out of the jam. In the seventh inning, the Lady Sailfish loaded the bases once again, this time with two out, before Robertson was able to force a groundout to third base to seal the victory.
The Lady Crusaders did all of their offensive work in the second inning when they scored their only three runs of the game on two hits. North Greenville’s big inning was helped along by two costly Palm Beach Atlantic errors.
On offense, Liz Pitts led the charge as she finished the game 1-for-2 with two RBI. Wofford, Santos and Kelsey Burgess each finished the game 1-for-3, while Taylor, Burgess and Sarah Griffith each scored a run in the game.
After winning the NCCAA South Regional Tournament, the Lady Crusaders (19-24) will now travel to Bluefield, VA to play in the NCCAA National Tournament which is set to begin on Thursday, May 12. North Greenville’s first round opponent will be announced later in the week.