FORT MYERS, Fla. - Top-seeded Lipscomb upended No. 6 North Florida by an 8-2 score to claim the ASUN Conference Softball Championship title Saturday afternoon at the FGCU Softball Complex. A three-run second inning proved to be the difference as the Bisons secured their second crown in program history (2010).
Down 1-0 entering the bottom of the second inning, Lipscomb crossed the plate three times to go up 3-1. With Khayla Green and Graysen Gladden on first and second, respectively, Peyton Ward singled up the middle to score Green and tie the ballgame. Sarah Higgins then added a single down the right field line to score Gladden and Ward. The Bisons went up 4-1 on a solo home run over the left center field wall by Hannah DeVault.
North Florida would cut the lead to 4-2 on a single by Taylor Engman to score Katelin Davis who entered the game as a pinch runner.
The Bisons added four additional insurance runs in the sixth inning on four hits, including a triple by Peyton Ward. With one out, Ward tripled down the right field line before a pair of walks loaded the bases. Jordan Fortel, Jenna Pealor and Katelin Turner produced RBI singles to make it an 8-2 game. Hurler Mandy Jordan would work a perfect 1-2-3 seventh to make it final and secure Tournament MVP honors.
Jordan (18-7) went the distance in the circle for Lipscomb to earn her second tournament win, while her counterpart Sydney Matzko (15-12) suffered the loss for North Florida.
Offensively, the Bisons were led by Peyton Ward with three hits (single, double, triple) and Katie Turner and Sarah Higgins with two RBIs each. Four different players registered a hit for the Ospreys with Engman being credited with the lone RBI.
Lipscomb (41-13-1) earns the ASUN's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. The Bisons will learn their opponent and location on the NCAA Selection Show scheduled for Sunday at 9 PM ET on ESPN2. North Florida concludes its season with a 30-24 overall record.
No. 1 Lipscomb vs. No. 6 North Florida Game Notes
- UNF's Navia Penrod finished her career with 285 career hits which is tied for the most in ASUN history (Stephanie Best, UCF, 2002-05).
- Lipscomb secures its second ASUN Softball Championship title in program history with the other coming in 2010.
- The Bisons are now 19-25 (.432) all-time in championship history.
- The No. 1 seed improves to 94-26 (.783) in ASUN Softball Championship history.
- The Ospreys were just the third No. 6 seed to advance to the title game and first since Troy in 2001; the other was Samford in 1990.
- The Lipscomb pitching staff combined to allow just two runs in the entire ASUN Softball Championship.
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