FORT MYERS, Fla. -- ASUN All-Conference pitchers Mandy Jordan of top-seeded Lipscomb and Megan Garst of No. 4 North Alabama showed exactly why they are two of the top pitchers in the league. Lipscomb outlasted North Alabama in an epic battle by a 1-0 score (12 innings) in the ASUN Softball Championship at the FGCU Softball Complex.
In a marathon contest that was suspended after two weather delays and resumed at 8 AM ET today, Lipscomb's Sarah Higgins drove the first pitch she saw on a 3-2 count over the left fielder to score Hannah DeVault from second base ending the game on a walk-off single. The game marked the third-longest in tournament history behind a pair of 15-inning contests in 2004 and 2001.
Lipscomb threatened Garst, the Pitcher of the Year, early and often but the junior was up to the challenge and able to hold the Bisons at bay up until the 12th inning. Lipscomb made Garst work the entire contest working deep counts that produced eight walks, a season-high for Garst, in the game.
Garst carried a no-hitter through four innings before allowing a pair of singles to begin the fifth. Combined, the two squads had runners reach third base four times but were not able to scratch across a run up until the game-winner in the 12th. Coming back from a 45-minute weather delay, the first of the game, in the top of the 10th inning, the Lions had a runner on third and attempted a delayed steal to home but Jordan tossed it to Higgins who applied the tag for the out. Another defensive gem in the game was made by UNA center fielder Meleah Hargett in the bottom of the 10th inning as she made a diving catch on a ball hit by Player of the Year Hannah DeVault saving extra bases.
Jordan (17-7) notches the win for Lipscomb, while UNA's Garst (15-6) suffers her first loss since April 7. Higgins led the Bisons with two hits, including the game-winning single, and the game's lone RBI. The Lions were led by Madison Daniel's two hits.
Lipscomb moves on in tournament play and will face No. 2 Liberty today at 2 PM ET. North Alabama suffers its first loss in the double-elimination championship and will battle No. 6 North Florida at 11:30 AM ET today.
No. 1 Lipscomb vs. No. 4 North Alabama Game Notes
- Lipscomb, in its 14th tournament and record 13th-straight, improves to 17-25 all-time while North Alabama falls to 1-1.
- The No. 1 seed is now 28-11 all-time in ASUN Championship history.
- A total of 20 runners were left on base in the game, while Garst (194) and Jordan (137) combined to throw 331 pitches.
- The contest marked the longest in the ASUN Softball Championship since 2004 and was the third-longest all-time to a pair of 15-innings games in 2001 and 2004. The 2004 contest also featured the No. 1 and 4 seeds.
- The eight walks taken by Lipscomb tied a championship record.
- In terms of playing time, the game set a new ASUN Championship record at 4:20 (3:35 in 2001).
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