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Saturday, April 13, 2013

BOWIE STATE SOFTBALL SUFFERS DOUBLEHEADER LOSS TO LINCOLN (PA) AND ENDS SEASON




BOWIE, Md. – Bowie State University was in perfect position to enter next week’s CIAA Spring Championships as the No. 4 Seed in the North. Unfortunately, Lincoln University of Pennsylvania spoiled BSU’s Senior Day and home finale, beating the Lady Bulldogs 7-1 in the opener and 13-11 in nine innings in game two of the twinbill. The doubleheader loss ends the Bowie State season record at 6-24, 4-12 CIAA and 2-8 North).

The doubleheader sweep ensures that Lincoln (Pa.), which will be heading to the tournament for the first time in school history, will be playing in next week's CIAA Spring Championships in Petersburg, Va., hosted by Virginia State University.

In the first game, the Lady Lions pounded out 15 hits, led by Avree Morton (Uniondale, N.Y.) and Mariah Liberty (Waterbury, Vt.) with three each.

Bowie State had six hits in game one with junior Mariela Hernandez (Del Rio, Texas) and sophomore Cassandra Clayborne (Damascus, Md.) accounting for two each. Hernandez (4-11) took the loss in the circle giving up seven runs (five earned) on 15 hits with 11 strikeouts in seven innings.

Lincoln (8-16, 6-12 CIAA, 3-6 North) opened the scoring in the first inning with a run and took a 3-0 advantage with a pair of runs in the third.

With one down, Morton singled to left and advanced to third when Toni Smith (New Castle, Del.), who went 2-for-4, doubled to left. Morton scored on a wild pitch, which moved Smith to third. With two down, Liberty singled to left to score Smith from third.

The Lady Bulldogs cut the deficit to 3-1 with a run in the bottom of the third, but the Lady Lions made sure there would be no comeback by scoring a run in fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh innings to earn a 7-1 win.

Mariah Coates (Reading, Pa.) and Danielle Owes (Edgewater Park, N.J.) also finished with two hits, while Emily Woodruff (San Diego, Calif.)Erin Rucker (Shaker Heights, Ohio) and Jasmine Dabney (Baltimore, Md.) each had one.

Rucker (7-13) picked up the win with a complete-game, six-hitter and fanned seven.

In the second game, the Lady Lions quickly took a 3-0 advantage and led 6-2 heading into the bottom of the seventh.

Needing just three outs to reach the CIAA Spring Championships, Lincoln (Pa.) saw its chances of reaching the tournament dwindle as Bowie State rallied with four runs on four hits and took advantage of a pair of errors to tie the game at 6 and force extra innings.

In the eighth, Lincoln plated four runs on four hits and seemed on the verge of clinching that fourth spot in the CIAA Northern Division, but again Bowie State refused to go away quietly and tied the game at 10 with a four-run eighth.

The Lady Lions, who pounded out 17 hits, broke the 10-all tie with three runs in the eighth to grab a 13-10 advantage.

Because of the International Tiebreaker Rule was in place, Rucker started the frame on second base. Liberty reached on a bunt single to move Rucker to third. Dabney reached on an infield hit to plate Rucker and move Liberty to second. With one down, both runners advanced on a passed ball. Owes stroked a two-single to plate Liberty and Dabney, giving Lincoln a 13-10 lead.

In the bottom of the ninth, the Lady Bulldogs were able to plate one run, but it wasn't enough as the Lady Lions advance to their first-ever CIAA Spring Sports Championship.

Owes, Rucker and Liberty each had three hits to pace the Lincoln (Pa.) offense. Emily Woodruff (San Diego, Calif.) and Smith finished with two hits, while Morton, Dabney, Coates and Shira Miller (Seattle, Wash.) each collected one.

Rucker, who carried a no-hitter into the sixth, picked up the win with gutsy nine-inning performance. She surrendered 11 runs (seven earned) on 10 hits with nine strikeouts.

Junior Aiyana McNair (Baltimore, Md.) paced the Lady Bulldogs with three hits in five plate appearances of game two. Clayborne and sophomore Hayley Flint (Mesa, Ariz.) tallied two hits each. Flint (2-10) took the loss as she gave up 13 runs (10 earned) on 17 hits and fanned 13 in nine innings.

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