By Karen Allen
Central, S.C.--With the regular season wrapped up Shorter’s Softball team has set its sight on the national stage once again. Monday, April 29, at 4:30pm the team will begin play in the NCCAA South Region Tournament.
The tournament is hosted by former SSAC rival Southern Wesleyan, and will feature Shorter as the No. 1 seed. In the three-team bracket, Point University enters as the No. 2 seed, and Southern Wesleyan as No. 3.
Winning the region will put the Lady Hawks, the 2012 NAIA National Champion, one step closer to adding NCCAA National Champion to its resume And, place them on the list with Women’s Indoor Track & Field and Men’s Basketball as national champions in the university’s first year in the conference.
In the latest standings, released by the conference on April 24, Shorter earned the No. 1 national ranking, after spending most of the season at No. 2. The Lady Hawks boast a 41-9 record, with arguably one of the toughest schedules played by anyone in NCAA Division II.
Throughout the season Softball has proven that they can compete with the best Division II has to offer, recording victories over many nationally ranked teams. Including an early season victory over current No. 1 Indianapolis, a two game sweep of Armstrong Atlantic who boasts the No. 2 national ranking, and a season split with defending National Champion and conference foe No. 4 Valdosta State.
As they turn their attention to the NCCAA's South Region their approach will be no different. Shorter has relied heavily on it's dominant picthing to win games, and it has paid off. The Lady Hawks' duo of, Christina Ezell and Maddie Bray, rank in the top of all pitching categories for the NCCAA. While the team ERA (1.84) ranks fourth in the league; Bray places in the top thee individually with a 1.50, and Ezell rounds out the top ten with a 1.82.
On the other side of the ball, Shorter is no stranger to success. The Lady Hawks boast a team batting average of .313; which places them at No. 7 in the NCCAA. Individually, Bre Johnson, who leads the team with 11 homeruns, and Kayla Cooper are among the league leaders in most offensive categories.
The bracket for the NCCAA South Region Tournament is as follows:
Monday April 29th
Game 1: 2:00 PM: #2 Point vs. #3 Southern Wesleyan
Game 2: 4:30 PM: #1 Shorter vs. Winner Game 1
Game 3: Loser Game 2 vs. Loser Game 1
Tuesday April 30th
Championship Game-Double Elimination-1PM and 3PM (If Necessary)
Fans unable to attend can find the latest information at www.goshorterhawks.com.