May 25, 2009

Courtesy of Alabama - Huntsville Athletics

Salem, Va. - The Chargers were just one win away. But, there would be no celebration, only heartbreak as UAH came up short of a national championship dream, falling to senior heavy Lock Haven University 8-0 in the Division II National Championship on Monday.

With the win, Lock Haven captured their second national title in four years, while the Chargers finished the season with a record of 54-6.

The Chargers managed just one hit off of Lock Haven All-American Kristin Erb. Meanwhile, the UAH pitching staff, led by starter Whitney Hawkins (Athens), finally gave way. Lock Haven roughed up the Chargers for 10 hits in the game.

Hawkins (21-1) suffered her only loss of the season. She worked five innings, allowed four runs on seven hits.

Lock Haven came out swinging early, getting a lead-off infield single from third-baseman Sarah Norris. With the hit, Norris set a new World Series record with 12. Norris was sacrificed to second and went to third on a ground out. However, she was left stranded when catcher Amanda Roosa rolled out to second to end the inning.

The Lady Eagles threatened again in the second inning as right fielder Erica Eisenbise led off with another infield single. Lock Haven would have runners on first and second base, but once again Hawkins pitched out of the jam.

While Lock Haven was pecking away and getting baserunners in each at-bat, the Chargers struggled as eight of the first 11 batters struck out. Emily Roach (Huntsville) was the only UAH hitter to reach on a single down the first base line in the second inning.

In the fifth inning, Lock Haven broke through again Hawkins scoring three runs. Two of the runs came on an RBI double by Erb. Lock Haven picked up another run on a sacrifice fly by shortstop Ilia Lopez.

Yhe Lady Eagles blew the game open in the sixth, batting around and adding five more runs. Lock Haven had four hits, including a two run double by shortstop Ilia Lopez.

The Chargers were unable to mount anything in the bottom of the inning and the season came to an end with a slow roller to second base by Kelli Long (Sterling, Ill.)

Five UAH players, Hawkins, catcher Kristina Prater (Athens), second baseman Michelle Ingram (Wetumpka), Roach and designated player Whitney Schrimsher (Huntsville) were named to the 2009 NCAA Division II Softball All-Tournament team.