MVP Sports Channel

Lindsey Wilson Opens NAIA Softball Championship with Double-Elimination Round on its Mind

Blue Raiders start their third straight trip to nationals on Thursday where they have never advanced past pool play

GULF SHORES, Ala. – Lindsey Wilson is hoping a third try is a charm when it comes to advancing to the double-elimination round at the NAIA Softball National Championship, which starts with pool play on Thursday at the Gulf Shorts Sportsplex.

A first-time qualifier in 2010, the Blue Raiders are now heading into their third straight trip to nationals. In each of the past two seasons, Lindsey Wilson has finished 2-1 in pool play, falling one win short of advancing to the next round.

While moving on with a 2-1 mark is possible — after looking at head-to-head results and run differentials — it’s a 3-0 showing that assures a longer stay on the coast.

To reach that goal the Blue Raiders will have to go through Union (Tenn.) at 11:30 a.m. CT on Thursday, Lubbock Christian (Texas) at 1 p.m. on Friday and Indiana Southeast at 10:30 on Saturday.

The double-elimination portion of the championship starts on Monday with the championship game slated for 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

Union enters play at nationals with a 45-10 overall record and 27-5 mark in TranSouth Athletic Conference games. Brooke Thomas is the Bulldogs’ leading pitcher with a 23-6 record and 2.12 ERA. Outfielder Shelby Lamb leads them at the plate with a .491 batting average with six home runs.

Lubbock Christian is 54-7 overall and 18-3 in Sooner Athletic Conference play. The Chaparrals feature pitcher Sarah Mendez and her 20-1 record and 1.17 ERA. Lubbock Christian has five players hitting over .400, including Kim Frazier (.486), McKenzie Clemmons (.473), Andrea Argee (.451), Brittany Kent (.432) and Latainna Eltsosie (.425).

Indiana Southeast went 32-17 this season, including an 18-2 mark against Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference teams. The Grenadiers lost to Lindsey Wilson 8-2 on Feb. 24 in the Alabama Arctic Blast.

IUS is led in the circle by Kayla Duke who is 14-6 on the season with a 1.84 ERA. Duke is helped at the plate by first baseman Kate Toney with a team-leading .392 batting average with a home run and 37 RBIs.

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