LAWRENCEVILLE- Ga. – No. 2-seeded Oregon Tech (39-15) entered Tuesday’s final day of action at the Lawrenceville Bracket of the NAIA Opening Round knowing they had to win three games on the day to advance to the NAIA Softball World Series. The Owls fell one game short.
After winning their first game, 4-0 over No.4-seeded Northwestern Ohio (31-14), Tech then proceeded to hand No. 1 ranked and No. 1-seeded Georgia Gwinnett College (52-4) just their fourth loss of the season 4-0 to force a final winner take all re-match with the Grizzlies.
Georgia Gwinnett handed the ball to two-time conference player of the year Piper Wagner who threw a complete game in the final, holding the Owls to 8-hits and only one-run, a solo homer by All-American Tara Moates as the Grizzlies won 4-1 advancing to the NAIA College World Series for the first time in school history.
Head Coach Greg Stewart, who now has 491 wins at OIT, said after the final game, “This group of young ladies have been a hardworking and fun bunch of players to get to coach. They are good teammates to each other and have displayed good character by working extremely hard this year to improve in all aspects of the game. They are to be commended for proving that Oregon Tech is one of the premier softball programs in the NAIA. I want to say a special thank you to all four of our seniors, Kelly Scott, Tara Moates, Sahalie Doe, and Rachael Delamare), both my assistant coaches, Bill Fagan and Kelly Reece and all the Oregon Tech support staff for making this an exciting and memorable season”
Game 1 – Oregon Tech 4 Northwest Ohio 0
Senior Kelly Scott was brilliant in her final career start throwing a complete game 3-hit shutout to improve to 13-6 on the year and ending her career with a 34-16 record and 231 strikeouts.
Freshman Logan Nunes continued to swing a hot bat as she hit a three-run home run to right field breaking-up a scoreless game and giving OIT a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning.
The Owls added an unearned run in the 5th to win 4-0, eliminating Northwest Ohio and advancing Tech into the Bracket Championship.
Game 2 – Oregon Tech 4 Georgia Gwinnett 0
Tech starting pitcher Loryn Williams threw arguably the best game of the year as she limited one of the NAIA’s best offenses to just 4-hits in a complete game shutout improving to 14-2 on the season.
Kiahna Brown gave Williams all the runs she would need, hitting her 13th homer of the season to deep left field putting the Hooter up 1-0 in the first inning.
The Owls would add a run in the third on a Moates RBI single.
Moates and Ali Graham each scored in the 6th giving the Owls a 4-0 win.
Moates and Shayna Ige led OIT with two-hits each in the win.
Game 3 Georgia Gwinnett 4 Oregon Tech 1
The Grizzlies came out with a ton of energy in the championship rematch scoring a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning on 3-hits and running OIT starter Williams out of the game before an out was recorded. Sarah Abramson came in a stopped the bleeding limiting the damage.
Senior and three-time All-American Tara Moates made it a one run game putting the Hooter on the scoreboard with a towering home run to deep center in the third inning and making it a 2-1 game. It was Moates’ seventh homer of the year and her 43 and final as an Owl.
GGC added a run in the fifth on 2-hits and then finished off the scoring with one more run in the sixth to win 4-1 and advance to the NAIA World Series.
McKenna Armantrout led OIT with 2-hits in the game.