COLUMBUS, Ga. – Missouri Western captured the 2023 NFCA Division II Leadoff Classic on Sunday afternoon at South Commons Softball Complex. The Griffons were a perfect 5-0 and edged out No. 17 UAH, also 5-0, by run differential.
On Sunday, Missouri Western blanked Northern State behind Sam Pederson’s six-hit shutout. She struck out eight and walked one batter. The Griffons also picked up wins over Ohio Dominican (8-1), Bridgeport (6-2), Shaw (9-1) and Charleston (6-5 8 inn.).
The Chargers rallied from a 2-0 hole and topped Le Moyne, 5-2, to close out their tournament. A four-run fifth highlighted by a big bases-clearing double from Alexa Douthett keyed UAH to the victory. The Chargers also knocked off No. 25 Wilmington (1-0), Georgian Court (12-4), Northern State (11-2) and Carson-Newman (1-0).
Northern State and Bridgeport picked up their first wins of the tournament. The Wolves edged Cal (Pa.), 3-2, while the Purple Knights knocked off Shaw, 12-3, in five innings. Also picking up wins on Sunday were Hillsdale, Wingate, Georgian Court, Charleston, Columbus State and Carson-Newman.
Wingate, who blanked Gannon 5-0, and Georgian Court, who thumped Cal 16-0, finished with 4-1 marks, while the Vulcans owned a 4-2 record over the weekend. Embry-Riddle concluded with a 3-1 showing, while four other programs – Ohio Dominican, Hillsdale, Columbus State, Carson-Newman and Georgia Southwestern – posted 3-2 records.
Grace Derita, Bridgeport
Charity Henderson, California (Pa.)
Rylee Gattis, Carson-Newman
Hannah Rose, Charleston
Jessica Lopez, Columbus State
Isabelle "Belle" Bonn, Embry-Riddle
Jules Ryan, Gannon
Katelyn Wood, Georgia Southwestern
Adriana Mungo, Georgian Court
Joni Russell, Hillsdale
Laura Bennett, Le Moyne
Katie Tuggle, Lincoln Memorial
Mackenzie DeVine, Missouri Western
Kyra Knudtson, Northern State
Kaleigh Golden, Ohio Dominican
Regina DeDecker, Shaw University
Katie Bracken, UAH
Madison Melvin, West Chester
Haley Downin, Wilmington
Raechel Cutcher, Wingate
Celebrating 40 years in 2023, the NFCA (National Fastpitch Coaches Association) is the professional organization for fastpitch softball coaches. Known for its highly-regarded Leadoff Classics, the NFCA also educates and supports softball coaches on a variety of different levels: from podcasts to awards, to in-person events and the National Convention.