By Karen Allen
Troutville, Va.—Lady Hawks fall in the championship game, 4-1, to Union to take home NCCAA Runner-Up honors. Shorter defeated Judson, 5-0, and Union, 1-0, earlier in the day to advance to the championship game.
In the first game of the day, the Lady Hawks faced off against Judson, who gave Shorter its first loss yesterday. This time the Lady Hawks came out on top; defeating Judson by a score of 5-0.
Shorter got on the board in the first inning; first on a solo homerun by Kayla Cooper, and then on a 2-run homer by Bre Johnson to take the 3-0 lead. In the second inning Cooper delivered an RBI double to extend the lead. Cooper was at it again in the fourth, bringing in Sarah Corn on an RBI single.
Christina Ezell pitched the complete game shutout en route to the win; allowing just three hits, while striking out eight. Sarah Boyer recorded the loss for Judson; allowing five runs on nine hits.
Cooper finished the game with three hits and three RBI.
The Lady Hawks forced another game by edging fellow Gulf South foe Union in the second game of the day, 1-0. Union proved to be a tough opponent, holding Shorter scoreless until the sixth inning when Whitney Hood delivered an RBI single that brought in Jackie Castaneda, who reached base on a walk to lead off the inning.
Maddie Bray earned the win for the Lady Hawks; allowing three hits with two strikeouts, over six innings of work. Brooke Thomas was tagged with the loss for Union; allowing one run on four hits, through six innings.
Felicia Morris accounted for three of Shorter's hits in the game, after recorded two in the game with Judson.
In the championship game, Union came out swinging; knocking eight hits to Shorter's three. The Lady Bulldogs got on the board in the second inning on a Summer Cross homerun to take the 1-0 lead and added to that in the third on and RBI single from Shelby Lamb. In the sixth, Union tacked on two runs to increase the lead to 4-0 as Lamb delivered a solo homerun, and Carter Mansolino connected on an RBI single.
The Lady Hawks mounted a comeback in their final at bat; with one out Kristen Little reached base on an error, advanced to second on Kendall Johnson's single, and then scored as Cooper reached on an error. However, the rally was halted as Castaneda and Morris each recorded out.
Kelly Robey—2013 NCCAA Pitcher of the Year-- earned the win for the Lady Bulldogs; allowing three hits with eight strikeouts. Ezell was tagged with the loss for Shorter; allowing four runs on six hits, with five strikeouts over 5.2 innings of work.
Corn, Hood, and Johnson each recorded a hit for Shorter.
The Lady Hawks had four members named NCCAA All-Americans in 2013. Morris and Ezell were each named First Team All-Americans; while Castaneda and Bray receive Second Team honors.
Shorter also had three members named to the All-Tournament Team--Ezell, Morris and Hood.
The Lady Hawks close out the season with an overall record of 48-11.