May 24, 2009

Salem, Va. - After what might be characterized as efficient, surgical wins this postseason, the sleeping giant woke up with a clap of thunder. The Chargers feasted on Angelo State pitching, pounding nine hits and putting up double-digits in a 10-0 rout of the fourth-ranked Rambelles.

With the win, the fifth-ranked Chargers (54-5) will play for the Division II National Championship on Monday. It will be a rematch of Friday's second round game as UAH will face No. 2 Lock Haven in a winner-take-all final. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. central time.

Behind junior hurler Whitney Hawkins' (Athens) arm and bat, the Chargers beat Lock Haven and senior All-American pitcher Kristin Erb 3-1 in the first meeting.

Webstreaming will not be available for the national championship game, however, it will be shown live on CBS College Sports Television. Comcast Cable customers can watch the game on CSS Channel 67, while those on Knology Cable will have the game on the Sports Pak. Also, Buffalo Wild Wings at Madison Square Mall on University Drive will have the game on the big screen.

The Chargers drew first blood early, plating two runs in their first at-bat. Kristina Prater (Athens) led off by being hit by a pitch for the 34th time in 2009. After she moved over with a sacrifice, Beth Lawson (Hazel Green) was intentionally walked. One out later, right fielder Emily Roach (Huntsville) ripped a single down the left field line, scoring Prater and Lawson and giving UAH a 2-0 lead.

In the second inning, the Chargers batted around and exploded for six runs on five hits to blow the game wide open. UAH loaded the bases with no outs. Then, Prater smacked a single through the left side to drive home pinch runner Michelle Ingram (Wetumpka). One out later, Lawson hit a rocket shot of the left field fence, clearing the bases and giving the Chargers a 6-0 lead. First baseman Caitlin Lee (Birmingham) added another run with an RBI single. The Chargers capped the scoring when Lee scored on an illegal pitch to make it 8-0.

The Chargers had a chance to blow the doors off of Angelo State in the third inning when they loaded the bases again with no outs. However, Kelli Long (Sterling, Ill.) struck out and Lawson grounded into a double play to end the threat.

Trouble brewed again for the Rambelles as the Chargers scored two more runs on a single by Hawkins, making the score 10-0.

Hawkins (21-0) cruised to her second shutout of the World Series, allowing only three hits with two strikeouts in five innings.

Chelsea Nelson (31-6) was the losing pitcher for Angelo State. She allowed eight runs on six hits in only 1 1/3 innings.

Hawkins and Roach each had two hits for UAH. Roach was 2-for-2 with a walk and two RBI. Hawkins was 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI. Lawson finished the game 1-for-2 with a double, two walks and three RBI. Lee and Erin Duke (Munford) also doubled for the Chargers. In addition, Lee had an RBI.