COLUMBIA, Ky. – In the end, top-seeded Auburn Montgomery's Cassie Daniels was too dominant in the circle, allowing two hits and one run with six strikeouts to help beat No. 2-seed Lindsey Wilson 5-1 in the championship game of the NAIA Softball National Championship Opening Round.
The Warhawks (44-10) advance to the final bracket of the championship in Columbus, Ga., next week, while the Blue Raiders finish the season with a 50-10 record.
Daniels (22-4) starred in all three games AUM played in the opening round, striking out 17 batters against Grand View (Iowa), throwing a one-hitter in the first meeting with Lindsey Wilson and finishing off with the two-hit performance on Wednesday.
The only Blue Raiders to tally a hit in the championship game were center fielder Ali Hart doubling down the right-field line in the fourth inning and Travatia Bowden hitting a home run to left field in the fifth.
AUM got two hits each from shortstop Jyssica Pepper who drove in a run, scored herself and waled and designated player Leslie Kelly who drove in a pair of runs with a two-run shot in a three-run fifth inning.
Second baseman Haley Johnson also hit a home run to lead off the fourth inning and score the game's first run.
Besides Bowden's homer, Lindsey Wilson only had two real chances to score. One was in the second inning when catcher Jane Egiazarova reached on an error and moved to second on a passed ball, with the other being Hart's double.
Jordan Hood (20-4) took the loss for the Blue Raiders, allowing four runs on five hits with four strikeouts and four walks in 4-1/3 innings. Kristina Krupinski also appeared for 1-2/3 innings, allowing a run on three hits, while Cara Law closed out the seventh with a strikeout and no hits allowed.