Mountaineers Fall in National Championship Game to St. Mary-of-the-Woods 6-2

Mountaineers Fall in National Championship Game to St. Mary-of-the-Woods 6-2

After winning four straight games to avoid elimination and make it to the championship game, Berea needed to win two more to take home the national championship trophy. The team on the opposite side of the field trying to eliminate the Mountaineers this time was the #1 seeded Pomeroys of St. Mary-of-the-Woods College. Berea and SMWC had met earlier in the tournament, which the Pomeroy won by a score of 4-2.

After retiring the first three batters of the Pomeroys, the Mountaineers got off to a hot start in the bottom of the first inning as they used two hits to make the score 1-0. Cheyenne Moran's run came off a Morgan McClure RBI single, her 10th RBI of the tournament. After a second inning which saw both teams go three up, three down, the Pomeroys tied the game 1-1 in third inning. A double down the third base line by a SMWC batter put two more runs on the board, making the score 3-1. Facing a 5-1 deficit entering the bottom of the fifth inning, the Mountaineers responded by adding a run to the board. Sarah Haycraft used a single to get on base, advanced second on a Victoria Sergent sacrifice bunt, moved to third on an error by the opposing shortstop and stole home to make the score 5-2.

The game moved to the bottom of the seventh with Berea down 6-2, needing four runs to extend the game or five to win and make a second game necessary. With one out already on the board, Katelyn Blair got to first base with a single. Haycraft's hit by pitch put her on first base and moved Blair to second base. The team would not be able to put anyone else on base or add the needed runs to extend the game, as the remaining outs were made to end the game. With the final score of 6-2, Berea would finish in 2nd place at the 2015 USCAA Softball National Championship.

Sergent started the game on the mound for the Mountaineers, pitching five innings, allowing six hits, five runs, five walks and striking out four batters. Blair came in to pitch two innings, giving up two hits, one run and striking out one batter. The offense connected on four pitches, led by McClure, who was 1-3 with one RBI. Freshman third basemen Hannah Carter and senior centerfielder Kari Kviten were named to the All-Tournament team.

The Mountaineers finished the season with an 18-14 record. Berea, including regular season and postseason, were 12-3 over the last 15 games, with five of those wins coming in five innings.