VIENNA - Trevecca Nazarene capped its perfect tournament run early Saturday afternoon at Jackson Park and cruised to the Great Midwest Athletic Conference softball championship following an easy 8-0 victory against Kentucky Wesleyan.
The Panthers, who used a two-run homer from Mackenzie Weedman to help eliminate Cedarville 4-1 and reach the finals, never got a runner to third base against winning pitcher Haley Fagan. Fagan (16-6) fired a four-hitter that featured two walks and five strikeouts.
The top-seeded Trojans went down in order during each of the first three frames against losing pitcher Josalyn Ress, who scattered seven hits in a complete game victory against third-seeded Cedarville (31-15). However, Ress got into trouble in the top of the fourth and left after allowing doubles to Ansley Brantley and Lindsey Stephens. Brantley actually scored the only run the Trojans ended up needing via a wild pitch and Stephens scored on one of four Wesleyan errors for a 2-0 cushion.
Photo by Jay W. Bennett
Trevecca Nazarene pitcher Haley Fagan fields a comebacker and gets ready to throw to first during Saturday’s Great Midwest Athletic Conference softball championship game against Kentucky Wesleyan.
Fagan started the fifth with a double and pinch-runner Kayla Richards made it 3-0 when she came home on Brantley's smoked liner that went off the fence in left for another two-bagger. Stephens' RBI single to center gave TNU (36-10) a commanding 4-0 cushion.
Alex Richardson walked to open the fifth and made it 5-0 when Heather Shuler had a run-scoring single to right.
Kelsey Kemp and Stephens started the seventh with consecutive singles and it was 7-0 after pinch-hitter Paige Cassady delivered a two-run base knock to center. Megan Chesney doubled to put runners on second and third and the final Trojan run scored when Shuler reached on an error.
Fagan ended the game in style when she got Wesleyan leadoff hitter Kelsey Miller to hit a comebacker. Miller, Kaci Ovelgoenner, Weedman and Alex Baumgart had the lone singles off Fagan.
Cedarville did score first in the loser's bracket final, thanks to consecutive doubles in the first by Christi Kirkpatrick and Kelsey Chapman. However, Weedman had her big blast in the second and Kyli Smithson also added an RBI for the second-seeded Panthers.