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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).

Tournament Central | Photo GalleryPhoto Gallery | Archived VideoArchived Video (Click on "vault" then date of game)

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.

All-Tournament Team

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

Learn more about the NFCA and consider joining our lineup of over 6,700 coaches today! 


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