Badger Athletics - Spring Hill College News
Spring Hill played in their first-ever national title game on Thursday
Spring Hill played in their first-ever national title game on Thursday
Softball - Thu, May. 30, 2013

COLUMBUS, Ga. – The Spring Hill College softball team saw its national title hopes come up just short on Thursday evening as the No. 1-ranked and top-seeded Concordia University (Calif.) Eagles slipped past the Badgers by a 8-3 score in the 2013 NAIA Softball National Championship Game at R.G. Jones Field in the South Commons Softball Complex.

The Badgers drew first blood in the top of the 1st inning when senior leftfielder Katelyn Hinson out of Faith Academy in Mobile lifted a pop fly to left that was dropped and resulted in sophomore catcher Jade Bourgeois scampering home from 2nd base with two outs. The next batter, freshman designated player Taylor Lahasky, reached base on a passed ball third strike that also brought in sophomore centerfielder Taylor Webre who had reached on a walk.

A two-out RBI-single to center by Eagle second baseman Shainna Groom in the bottom of the 1st inning cut it to a 2-1 Badger lead, but Bourgeois ended the early rally by cutting down Groom on steal attempt at 2nd base.

SHC freshman phenom pitcher Caroline Sagrera (39-11) sat the Eagles down in order in the bottom of frame with two strikeouts sandwiched around a line out to Hinson in left field.

The Badgers put a runner on 3rd base in the 3rd inning off an infield error by the Eagles, but failed to score when a grounder to 3rd base closed the inning.

Right fielder Caitrin Debaun of Concordia made it a 2-2 game in the bottom of the 3rd inning with a single to right-centerfield that brought in pinch runner Priscilla Martinez from 2nd base with one out.

Concordia starter Katie Cotta (27-2) surrendered a single to center by Lahasky to leadoff the 4th inning, but then wiped the bases clean with a 3rd-to-1st bunt pop-up double play.

Sagrera hit two batters and issued a full-count walk to load the bases in the bottom of the 4th inning. Eagles' (52-3)     third baseman Hannah Howell then dropped a three-run double down the left field line to make it a 5-2 CU advantage. Left fielder Chanele Dresser then added a two-run single with two outs as SHC fell behind 7-2.     

Bourgeois lifted a ground-rule double to left field with two outs to put Badgers at 2nd and 3rd in the top of the 5th, but a Badger strike out after a walk to load the bases closed the frame.

In the top of the 6th inning, consecutive wild pitches by Cotta brought Lahasky in from 3rd base and put junior second baseman Raleigh Downs at 3rd with two outs. Cotta would regroup, however, to coax an inning-ending fly ball out to center.

Dresser put a high-hopper over 1st base in the bottom of the 6th to stretch the Eagle lead back out to 8-3 as Howell came around to score from 2nd base.

The Spring Hill (49-17) offense was paced by Bourgeois with her two hits as Sagrera went the distance in the loss with eight hits allowed four walks and three strikeouts.

Cotta (27-2) was the winner allowing just three hits with six walks and six strikeouts while shortstop Jenna Jorgenson and Howell each collected two hits with three RBI and Debaun and had two hits with an RBI for Concordia.

Following the game, Sagrera and third baseman Mariha Partman were named to the 2013 NAIA Championship All-Tournament Team.

The SHC students, faculty and community will welcome the Badgers back to campus on Friday at 11 a.m. at the Student Center on campus.