Shorter jumped out to an early lead and never looked back in an 8-0 win over North Alabama to win the 2015 Gulf South Conference Softball Championship Sunday afternoon in Valdosta, Ga. The Hawks produced nine hits and took advantage of three UNA errors while starting pitching Maddie Bray picked up the shutout in the five-inning victory.
Miscues plagued the Lions throughout the game as Shorter scored five unearned runs. Offensively, UNA managed only three hits in the title game.
Shorter wasted little time grabbing the lead, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first inning. Tournament MVP Niki Cook started the frame with a single and stole second. She then scored on a fielding error by UNA to give the Hawks the early 1-0 lead. An RBI-double by Ericka Bynum put Shorter ahead 2-0.
After a scoreless second inning, Shorter extended its lead in the third on a pair of Lion miscues. With runners at second and third with one out, Kameron Carter scored on a wild pitch. A throwing error on the same play allowed Bynum to score from second to give the Hawks a 4-0 lead.
A four-run fourth inning pushed the lead to 8-0 and set the stage for the mercy win. An RBI-single and a sacrifice fly extended the lead to 6-0 before another wild pitch allowed two more runs to score.
UNA singled and reached on an error in the bottom of the fifth, but could not score, ending its tournament-run with a 3-2 record.
Hillary Carpenter took the pitching loss for UNA. She worked 3.1 innings, allowing three earned runs on nine hits with a walk and three strikeouts to fall to 19-5 on the season.
Following the game, Brooklynn Clark, Bree Blevins, Carey Grace Peebles, Madeline Lee and Reagan Tittle were named to the all-tournament team for UNA.
UNA will wait to see what seed its gets in the upcoming NCAA South Region Tournament. The NCAA will host an online selection show Monday at 9 a.m.