COLUMBIA, Ky. – Cassie Daniels allowed just one hit, a solo home run, but it was a non factor as she struck out nine batters and got five runs from her Auburn-Montgomery (Ala.) offense to beat No. 2-seed Lindsey Wilson 5-1 on Tuesday in the NAIA Softball National Championship Opening Round winner's bracket.
The Blue Raiders drop to the loser's bracket of the double-elimination tournament where they face the loser between No. 3-seed Davenport (Mich.) and No. 4-seed Grand View (Iowa). AUM advances to a good position in the championship game where it will have to be beaten twice on Wednesday.
Daniels, who finished with a season-high 17 strikeouts in the win on Monday, was strong again in a complete game on Tuesday, allowing a run on one hit with four walks to improve to 21-4.
Cara Law started for the Blue Raiders and gave up two runs on five hits in 1-1/3 innings before giving the game over to Jordan Hood. Law took the loss to fall to 12-3, while Hood allowed three runs on four hits with three strikeouts in 3-2/3 innings.
With the Warhawks continuing to score runs, including three in the fifth to take a 5-0 lead, Cheyanne Knepper finished the final inning in the circle without giving up a hit.
First baseman Kristina Krupinski provided the only offense for Lindsey Wilson with her solo blast in the sixth inning. It was the sophomore's 24th home run of the season.
AUM, on the other hand, had Leslie Kelly go 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBIs, first baseman Kayla Hale went 2-for-2 with a home run and second baseman Haley Johnson hit a home run as well on her only hit.
The Warhawks jumped on top early, scoring the first run on a single by Kelly in the first inning and another in the second on Hale's leadoff home run. Kelly and Johnson's blasts were back-to-back in the fifth to put the game away.