Southeastern Oklahoma State finishes off Henderson State 6-2 to win GAC tourney
BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- No. 3 Southeastern Oklahoma State completed an undefeated run through the 2013 Great American Conference Softball Championships by defeating Henderson State 6-2 in the title game Sunday from the Tiger Athletic Complex.
Mindy McElroy earned tournament MVP honors as she earned the save in the final, to go along with three victories she picked up during the week. She did not allow an earned run in 16 innings of work. She recorded one complete game and struck out nine against just one walk.
After dodging a Henderson State (23-32) scoring threat in the top of the first, the top-seeded Savage Storm (44-7) took a 1-0 advantage in their half of the first inning. All-tournament performer Jessica Simmons walked to lead off the game. She stole second, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a Courtney Riddle sacrifice fly.
The Lady Reddies grabbed a 2-1 lead in the top of the third when Hali Kizer doubled in Sarah Gipson and Amy Halter. The lead would not last the inning as Southeastern tied the game in the bottom half of the third. The Savage Storm retook the lead at 3-2 in the fourth on a single by All-GAC catcher and all-tournament performer Courtney Moore.
Southeastern added one run in the fifth inning and two more in the sixth inning in securing their first GAC postseason championship in any sport. Jacee Bennett, the GAC’s Pitcher of the Year, earned her first win at the championships as she went 4 innings in improving to 21-4.
Earlier Sunday, Henderson State beat East Central (42-13) for the second time at the GAC championships, 2-0, to make the title game. It represented the just second time all year that the Lady Tigers had failed to score a run. Kasey Carlock held East Central to only five hits as she recorded her second shutout.
Three Henderson State players made the all-tournament team: Amber Wilburn, Sarah Gipson and Morgan South. Other players named to the all-tournament team: Lacey Paulk, Autumn Suydam and Leah Tigert, East Central; Kailey Madden and Megan Askew, Ouachita Baptist; Kali Piha, Arkansas-Monticello; and Lacie Cook, Southeastern Oklahoma State.
The Savage Storm entered the GAC championships ranked second in the NCAA Division II Central Region. The NCAA Tournament Selection Show will be held at 10:30 a.m. ET May 6. The top-two seeds host four-team, double-elimination regional tournaments.