DECATUR, Ala. - Texas Southern scored four runs in the sixth inning to capture its first SWAC Softball Tournament championship with a 6-3 win over defending champions Mississippi Valley State at Wilson Morgan Park on Sunday.
With the game tied at one heading into the bottom of fifth, TSU (32-18) took the lead when pinch runner Tiffany Marshall scored on a single by SWAC Co Freshman of the Year, Krystalani Yockman, to go out in front, 2-1.
In the sixth with one out, Brianna Parker drove in Jessicsa Miller on a ground-out fielder's choice to the shortstop to spark the Lady Tigers. With Princess Daniels at third, and Chelsea Guenther at second, Thomasina Garza picked up a walk to load the bases.
Garza finished 1-of-2 at the plate with a run scored. She was named tournament MVP after recording three home runs, a double, and nine RBI. She hit .538 in four games while scoring five runs.
Yockman singled again to score Daniels before Briana Simpson slapped a double to drive in a pair of runs to extend TSU's lead, 6-1.Miller, Daniels, and Yockman registered multiple hits for the Lady Tigers. Miller was perfect at the plate with a run scored, Daniels went 2-for-3 with a run scored and Yockman hit 3-of-4 with two RBI. Simpson finished with two RBI on one hit.
Madison Staton (12-6) picked up the win throwing six innings. She gave up five hits, three earned runs, while recording four strikeouts. Staton finished with a tournament high, 10 strikouts through four games.
In the seventh, MVSU (14-16) began to rally and posted a threat after Omeshia Moffett doubled to left field. Natalia Covarrubias followed with a double to drive in Moffett before Sammantha Jimenez came in relief for Staton.
Brandi Williams singled to left center to keep the Devilettes alive, with no outs, scoring Covarrubias to close the gap, 6-3.
On the next at bats, Jimenez forced a fly out, follow by a strike out and ground out to the mound, to seal the game.
Covarrubias led MVSU at the plate going 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored. Relief pitcher Cassandra Rivera (5-20) suffered the loss giving up seven hits and five earned runs in two innings. Tenna Patterson spotlighted the Devilettes with eight strikeouts for the tournament.
Texas Southern captures its second overall title and will receive the SWAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Softball Tournament. The Lady Tigers will face a team to be announced after the NCAA Division I Softball Committee reveals the 64-team field for the 2014 NCAA Softball Tournament on Sunday, May 11, during the selection show at 9 p.m. CT on ESPNU.
SWAC SOFTBALL ALL TOURNAMENT TEAM
MEAGAN DIXON - ALABAMA STATE
CANESSA SWANSON - JACKSON STATE
LAURA AIKENS - JACKSON STATE
CALLY FALS - PRAIRIE VIEW A&M
KAYLEIGH THOMAS - SOUTHERN
TRACY WILLIAMS - MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE
JAHCENDA GARRETT - MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE
DEJA TALTON - MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE
TENNA PATTERSON - MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE
MADISON STATON - TEXAS SOUTHERN
THOMASINA GARZA - TEXAS SOUTHERN