MVSU and JSU to Battle for 2012 SWAC Title
IRONDALE - The Mississippi Valley State Devilettes (33-17) will take on defending champion Jackson State Lady Tigers (32-26) in the title game of the SWAC Softball tournament on Sunday at the Shea Brothers Softball Complex.
It will be a rematch of the 2011 finals when JSU defeated MVSU to take home the trophy and advance to the NCAA tournament. MVSU swept a three-game series from JSU during the regular season. One of the games was live on ESPNU in Itta Bena. The championship game will be on ESPNU once again, shown tape delayed on Monday.
Jackson State made it to the finals with a dramatic 2-1 win over Texas Southern in the semifinals, while MVSU beat Prairie View 2-0 in the other semifinal game.
The East Division champion Devilettes added to their 15-game winning streak alive with the win over PVAM.
MVSU got on the board early with a RBI double to left center field by Kishti Kamaka, scoring Brianna Holmes, who walked earlier in the inning. The Devilettes scored their final run of the game in the bottom of the third inning on a Nicole Burr single to center field.
The Lady Panthers had one last opportunity in the seventh inning. Shonte Lopez singled down the left field line and Alis Navarro reached on a fielder’s choice. But MVSU’s defense responded and helped the Devilettes blank its second straight opponent.
Kimberly Spivey earned her second victory of the tournament, working all seven innings. She allowed just three hits with four strikeouts. Kamaka and Shana Ladner each accounted for a pair of Valley’s six hits.
Leanna Flores had two of Prairie View’s six hits.
JSU’s set a new team record with it's 32nd win. It also marked the first 30-plus win season since the 2002 season.
The Lady Tigers struck first in the second inning on a solo home run by Felicia Wilson. TSU tied the game in the fourth inning Giana Robinson hit a towering home run off the scoreboard in right field.
The score remained tied until the bottom of the seventh when a pair of errors opened the door for JSU. Wilson reached on a dropped pop up. Then, Kenesha Phillips reached on a throwing error attempting to sacrifice. On the next play, pinch runner Raveen Palmer and Phillips pulled a double steal of second and third. Palmer raced home with the game-winner on Jasmin Warren's sacrifice fly.
Texas Southern 5, Alabama State 1
Texas Southern used a four-run sixth inning and solid pitching to knock out Alabama State and advance to the semifinals.
The Lady Tigers had a chance to blow the game open early, loading the bases with two outs, but the Lady Tigers only managed to squeeze across one run. However, the Lady Tigers added cushion in the sixth inning, scoring four runs to take a 5-0 lead. That was all that pitcher Rebecca Villarreal would need as she went on to keep the Lady Hornets to only one run.
In seven innings, Villarreal allowed a run on five hits. She also had three strikeouts. Jessica Haynes, Yesenia Torres and Charyce Arnold had two hits apiece. Torres was 2-for-4 with a double, triple and an RBI. Arnold was also 2-for-4 and scored a run.
Bailey Patt was on the losing end for Alabama State. She pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and a walk. She also struck out three.
Ayesha Famble was 2-for-3 with a triple to led ASU.
Prairie View 1, Alabama A&M 0
Alabama A&M will spend the off-season kicking themselves after blowing golden opportunities. Prairie View took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning off of an RBI single by Katelyn Den Beste. Then in the sixth inning, A&M had a chance to tie the game or even take the lead with runners on second and third with no outs. But, Raven Grubbs was cut down at the plate trying to score on a wild pitch and Jasmin James was retired in a rundown, the rally went up in flames.
Brittanie Gardner was the winning pitcher, tossing a 5-hit shutout. She had two strikeouts and a pair of walks. Anisa Britt was the hard-luck loser for A&M. She allowed only one run, while scattering six hits in 5 2/3 innings. She had three strikeouts and walked one.
Seven different players had a hit for PVAM. Left fielder Olivia Pace was 1-for-2 with a double, while second-baseman Katelyn Den Beste was 1-for-2 with the only RBI of the game.
For A&M, Fayesha Ward was the only player on either team with multiple hits. She was 2-for-3 in the game.