Williams Baptist College Lady Eagles Win Way to NAIA Final Four

Courtesy Williams Baptist College Department of Athletics and the NAIA

Columbus, Ga. – There are four teams remaining in the 2013 NAIA National Softball Championship, and one of them is Williams Baptist College. The sixth-ranked Lady Eagles stayed alive by beating Reinhardt University on Tuesday afternoon 4-0 in Columbus, Ga. Williams Baptist, which is playing in its first “final four” in the NAIA national softball championships in school history, is the first American Midwest Conference team to reach the last four since 1995.

“Let’s not be bashful, it feels pretty good to be a part of the last four. I am happy for our girls,” said head softball coach Eric Newell.

Karisa Hendrix took to the circle in the elimination game for WBC. The AMC Pitcher of the Year stifled Reinhardt, allowing no runs on four hits. She struck out six batters, while walking only two. The win improves the All American’s season record to 25-6. 

“The changeup was working and they weren’t swinging at it, so I kept throwing it and it kept them off balance,” said Hendrix

“Karisa pitched one heck of a game,” Newell said.

Williams Baptist College put a run on the board before Reinhardt had a chance to bat.  Felicia Woodard led off the game with a long drive off the left fielders glove.  She reached third base on the play. Lauren Sweeten came up next and hit a single up the middle, giving the Lady Eagles the 1-0 lead.

The Williams Baptist College Lady Eagles added three runs in the third.  Brittany Merritt got the ball rolling with a one-out single up the middle. Woodard and Sweeten added singles to load the bases. Following a strikeout, all three runners advanced via an illegal pitch. Callie Brooks stepped to the plate and laced a two-out two RBI single to right field. That gave the Lady Eagles the decisive 4-0 lead.

“I knew the pitcher had to pitch one over the plate to me because it was a 3-0 count and I just hit,” Brooks said.

Reinhardt would threaten in the fourth by loading the bases, but Hendrix rung up the hitter with a changeup. It is the first time this season and in the last 55 games that Reinhardt has been shut out.

The win improves Williams’ record to 46-8 and a perfect 7-0 against NAIA top 10 teams this season. They will play No. 2-seeded Lubbock Christian on Wednesday, May 29 at 3 p.m. CDT. The game will be the semifinals of the loser’s bracket.

Teams remaining are Williams Baptist College, Lubbock Christian, Spring Hill (Ala.) and No. 1-seed Concordia (Calif.).

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