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Wallace State Battles Back to Beat Salt Lake to Capture DI Softball National Title
 May 18, 2013


Release furnished by Dixie State College Sports Information

ST. GEORGE, Utah -- No. 8-seed Wallace State Community College - Hanceville (Ala.) won its second-ever NJCAA Division I Softball Championship, but had to put in a little extra work to earn the trophy, as the Lions bounced back with a 7-3 victory over No. 2-seed Salt Lake Community College (Utah) Saturday afternoon at the Canyons Complex.

The Lions, who also won the title in 2008, came into play Saturday out of the winner’s bracket, needing only one win to claim the title. Meanwhile, Salt Lake, which had dropped an 8-1 decision to Wallace State Friday night in the winner’s bracket semifinals, avenged that loss and forced a second title game by defeating the Lions 8-0 earlier Saturday.

Salt Lake looked as if it was going to pick up where it left off to start game two as the Lions committed three errors in the first inning, yet the Bruins scored just one run on those extra opportunities to take a 1-0 lead.

After being shutout for the first time in the tournament in their loss to Salt Lake in the first title game on Saturday, Wallace State broke through with a pair of runs in the second inning as infielder Kori Benson connected on a two-run home run to give the Lions a 2-1 lead.

The Bruins had a chance to put up a big number in the bottom of the fifth frame as Salt Lake loaded the bases with no outs on a pair of hits and a hit by pitch. However, Wallace State starting pitcher Lindsey DeFee was able to escape the jam by only allowing just one run off a sacrifice fly from Susan Duke, which knotted the score at 2-2.

The Lions then put the game away in the seventh. Wallace State sent 10 batters to the plate, scoring five runs. Benson and Katie Gentle both produced two-run singles, which gave Wallace State a commanding 7-2 advantage.

Salt Lake tried to mount a rally in its final at-bat as Maddy Woodard knocked a solo home run with one out to left field, which was followed by a Lyndsey Healy single. However, DeFee slammed the door shut as she induced a championship-clinching double play to end the game.

DeFee, who was named Tournament MVP and Most Outstanding Pitcher, struck out three and scattered five hits and three runs, two earned, to pick up the win. She posted a 3-0 record during the tournament with a 4.14 ERA in 25.1 innings in the circle. Opposing batters mustered only a .245 average against her during the tournament.

Wallace State (55-12) finished with 12 hits, with Benson accounting for two and a game-high four RBIs. Gentle also had two hits and two RBIs.

Bruin starter Kailey Christensen, who posted a shutout versus Wallace in the first title match, pitched into the second inning of game two, but was touched up for two runs on three hits in the frame and took the loss. Woodard finished with three hits to lead the Bruin offense.

Salt Lake’s Malia Campos had one hit in the deciding title game and scored two runs. She earned the tourney’s Most Outstanding Offensive Player honor after posting a .426 batting clip with a home run and eight RBIs while in St. George. She also scored 15 runs.

The Bruins of Salt Lake ended their 2013 season at 53-11 overall and national runners-up for the third straight year.

Yvette Alvarez – Pitcher, Pima CC (Ariz.)
McCauley Flint – Pitcher, Salt Lake CC (Utah)
Maria Alexander Ortiz – Catcher, Pima CC (Ariz.)
Lindsey DeFee – Pitcher, Wallace State CC (Ala.)
Maddy Woodard – SS, Salt Lake CC (Utah)
Madeline Lee – 2B, Wallace State CC (Ala.)
Katherine Harrison – 1B, Chipola College (Fla.)
Brittany Gillison – OF, Wallace State CC (Ala.)
Kristi Belshe – OF, Lake Land College (Ill.)
Katie Gentle – OF, Wallace State CC (Ala.)
Sydney Stuever – OF, Butler CC (Kan.)
Whitney Holt – UT/DP, Salt Lake CC (Utah)

Malia Campos, Salt Lake CC (Utah)
.462 / 1 2B / 1 HR / 8 RBI / 15 RS / 3 SB

Lindsey DeFee, Wallace State CC (Ala.)
3-0 / 4.14 ERA / 25.1 IP / 13 K / .245 OBA

Kori Benson – 3B, Wallace State CC (Ala.)

Lindsey DeFee, Wallace State CC (Ala.)

Jayne Clem, Wallace State CC (Ala.) 

Photos courtesy of St. George Parks & Recreation...and Russell Moore, Wallace State CC 

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