No. 5 Humboldt State Edges No. 16 Pirates, 3-2, in if Necessary Game of Semifinals.

Courtesy of ArmstrongPirates.com

DENVER, Colo. – The No. 5-ranked Humboldt State University softball team plated three runs in the fourth and held on for a 3-2 win over No. 16-ranked Armstrong State University on the first day of the NCAA DII Softball Championships at the Regency Athletic Complex on the campus of Metro State on Tuesday afternoon.

The Lumberjacks (51-5-1) advance in the winner’s bracket to face West Texas A&M – 4-0 winners over Grand Valley State in Tuesday’s first game – at Noon on Wednesday. Armstrong State (40-14) will face the Lakers in an elimination contest on Wednesday afternoon at 5:00 p.m.

With the game scoreless in the bottom of the third inning, Illa Haley led off the inning for Humboldt State with a single. A sacrifice moved her over to second, then Sydney Roberts followed with an RBI single to center field to put the Lumberjacks up 1-0. An intentional walk to Hanna Holland and a double steal put runners at second and third, then an illegal pitch called against Bates plated the second run. A passed ball on a walk to Winona Vigil then plated the third run of the inning.

Humboldt State pitcher Madison Williams (25-2) held the Pirates hitless through five innings. Senior second baseman Peyton Roth broke up the no-hit bid with a leadoff single in the sixth inning, then two outs later, freshman Logan Harrell followed with a two-run home run to cut the lead to one run, 3-2.

Williams set down the Pirates in order in the seventh to claim the win. She hurled seven innings, giving up just two hits and two runs, walking two while striking out eight. Tori Bates (16-9) took the loss for the Pirates, giving up four hits and three runs – two earned – in five innings of work, walking four and striking out two.

POST GAME COMMENTS

Head coach Ted Evans:

“Well, I thought we came out really tight. I know we were up for the game, really excited, but sometimes you can be too excited.

“After playing really well last week against North Gerogia, I expected better. I thought we were ready to play. Tori is one of our calm, cool and collected players and she pitched a pretty good ball game, but she made a pitching mistake with a runner on third that I don’t think I’ve ever seen her do before. It’s the national tournament and it’s a different stage.”

On dealing with a loss in the first game of a double elimination tournament: “Two things – we want to make sure we’re united as we go forward. And second, we had our Peach Belt teammates last year, North Georgia, lose their first game – in fact they got no-hit, and that can be a pretty devastating thing to a team – but they came back to win it. So we’ve got that to look to – if they can do it so can we.”

Freshman catcher Logan Harrell on the two-run home run in the sixth inning

“I feel like I went up to bat just looking for a base hit. It happened, my team needed me and I felt like I needed to pull through.”

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