MONTGOMERY, Ala.| The Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Softball Tournament was forced into a third game for the third consecutive year at the Barbara Williams Softball Complex, and the third time proved to be the charm for Alabama State as they claimed their first conference championship since 2016 with an 8-4 victory over Texas Southern Saturday night.
Alabama State (24-23), playing in their fifth consecutive conference title game and third at home, used a three-run fourth inning to extend their lead over Texas Southern en route to the championship. The Lady Hornets used a Teah Steel single to right that scored Amira James to take a 3-2 lead, before they added another run on a Casey Durham double to extend the lead to 4-2. Their final run of the inning came via a groundout by Kaylee Davis to third that allowed Steel to score from third with two outs in the inning.
After Texas Southern (25-27) battled back to get the game to within 5-3, Alabama State answered with three more runs in the top half of the seventh to put the game away using RBI singles by Charlene Castro and James to extend the lead to 8-3. Texas Southern got one more run in the bottom of the seventh before Tournament Most Valuable Player Justine Jean induced a fly ball to center and Alexis Sydnor squeezed the final out of the game to give the Lady Hornets the title.
The Lady Hornets entered the day undefeated before falling in the first game of the day 6-2, despite Kaylee Davis leading the team with multiple hits.
The championship won by the Lady Hornets is the sixth conference title won by Alabama State this spring in all sports, and the 10th won by the department since the beginning of the fall 2018.
Alabama State will find out their opponent Sunday night as the NCAA will hold their Selection Show on ESPN2 at 8 pm. The Lady Hornets will host a Watch Party inside the ASU Stadium Club Lounge Sunday night, with doors opening at 7 pm.
- Of the eight runs scored by Alabama State, seven were unearned as Texas Southern committed six errors in the game.
- Alabama State’s Castro was 2-for-4 with two runs scored.
- Banks went 2-for-2 with a pair of walks for Texas Southern.
- Destiny Ricks was charged with the championship game loss, allowing five runs – none earned – in 5.1 innings of work.
- Texas Southern left 12 runners on base.
#SWACSB19 All-Tournament Team:
- Kayla Owens, Jackson State
- Danielle Hansell, Alabama A&M
- Laurisa Hernandez, Prairie View A&M
- Crystal Castillo, Prairie View A&M
- Tevanae Tate, Texas Southern
- Naomi Reyes, Texas Southern
- Madi Marek, Texas Southern
- Julia Bilbao, Texas Southern
- Amira James, Alabama State
- Justine Jean, Alabama State (#SWACSB19 Tournament MVP)
- Alexis Sydnor, Alabama State
- Kristin Gunter, Alabama State
~swac.org and Alabama State Sports Information