All games will be streamed on ESPN+. We will be providing updates throughout the week on all the action in DeLand, so check back here for the updates every day this week.
Tuesday, Day One, May 9, 2023
Play-In Game 1: #7 Austin Peay 2, #6 Stetson 1 (8 innings) (elimination game)
The first game of the tournament was knotted at one after 7 innings and headed to extra innings. The host team, Stetson, fell behind in the top of the 8th as Austin Peay took their first lead of the afternoon at 2-1. In the bottom of the inning, facing elimination, the Hatters advanced a runner to second. On a base hit to left field, that runner attempted to score and tie the game but was thrown out at the plate to end the game.
Game 2: #5 North Alabama 5, #8 Jacksonville 4 (10 innings) (elimination game)
Allison Carter led off the top of the sixth for the Dolphins with a double to right field then a sac bunt from Tatianna Davis advanced Carter to third base. An off-speed pitch that was mishandled at the plate led to a squeeze play that saw Carter give Jacksonville a 4-3 advantage on the scoreboard. Shelby Harpe stepped into the circle in the bottom of the seventh inning looking to close things out for the Dolphins. A double play looked to set up a short half-inning for JAX but Haven Kirby came through with a clutch at-bat for UNA to tie the score again and send the game to extra innings.
Bevis hit a single to right field in the bottom of the 10th innings to end the game in favor of North Alabama. The Lions ended the game with 17 hits which set a new single-game record for a team in the championship.
Wednesday, Day Two, May 10, 2023
Game 1: #3 Jacksonville State 10, #7 Austin Peay 4
it was a back and forth game with neither team being able to provide much separation during the first five innings of the game. That would change in the bottom of the 6th inning when Jacksonville State hit a grand slam that helped break the game open as they advance to take on Liberty for the first time this season.
Game 2: #5 North Alabama 6, #4 FGCU 5
There was a nearly three-hour weather delay in DeLand on Wednesday afternoon. The delay began with North Alabama leading 6-3 in the bottom of the 7th and FGCU attempting to mount a comeback in their final inning. They began the 7th with a solo home run followed by two walks and a pitching change. There were runners on 1st and 2nd with nobody out. After the delay, both of those runners would score but the Lions were able to secure the final outs and preserved the win.
Thursday, Day Three, May 11, 2023
Game 3: #2 Liberty 4, #3 Jacksonville State 2
Liberty got the early lead over Jacksonville State thanks to a solo home run by Sierra Kersten to leadoff the bottom of the 2nd inning. The Gamecocks would strike right back in the top of the 3rd, loading the bases with nobody out. Liberty pitcher Karlie Keeney got out of the jam by only giving up a two-run single to right field, but JSU did take the lead at 2-1.
In the bottom of the 4th, KK Madrey blasted a three-run home run to right field to give Liberty the lead it would not relinquish. Keeney pitched the complete game, only allowing three hits.
Game 4: #5 North Alabama 2, #1 Central Arkansas 0
We got a big upset on Thursday afternoon, as North Alabama defeated the No. 1 seed and regular season champion Central Arkansas. The Lions scored two runs in the top of the first and that would be all they needed. Maci Birdyshaw pitched the complete game shutout as she allowed just four hits. UNA now advances into the winner’s bracket and will take on the two-time defending champs Liberty on Friday. UCA falls into the loser’s bracket and will play No. 7 Austin Peay later today.
Game 5: #4 FGCU 6, #3 Jacksonville State 4 (elimination game)
Neely Peterson sent a solo shot over the center-field wall to put the Eagles on the scoreboard first in the top of inning number two. FGCU would slowly build their lead, pushing their advantage to 5-0 in the 6th inning. The Gamecocks would fight back, attempt to stave off elimination, scoring four runs in the bottom of the 6th. It wouldn’t be enough as the Eagles advance to Friday’s action.
Game 6: #1 Central Arkansas 10, #7 Austin Peay 1 (5 innings) (elimination game)
Mea Clark singled down the right-field line in the top of the second inning to give Austin Peay an early 1-0 advantage putting the regular season champ and #1 seed on the brink of elimination. That score would remain until the bottom of the 3rd when the Bears fought back and started to break things open. Jaylee Engelkes broke the game wide open with a grand slam in the fourth for the 10-1 lead, and the #1 seed’s defense was able to close out the contest in the fifth with the run-rule triumph.
Friday, Day Four, May 12, 2023
Game 7: #5 North Alabama 3, #2 Liberty 1 (10 innings)
The upstart North Alabama Lions continue their strong play, winning four straight games as they have advanced out of the Play-In games on Tuesday all the way to Saturday’s championship where someone will have to beat them twice. UNA took the lead 1-0 off Liberty starter Paige Bachman. The Lady Flames would tie the game in the bottom of the 6th with a solo home run by Rachel Roupe. The game would stay tied at 1 until the 10th when the Lions scored two in the top half of the frame and held on for the victory.
Game 8: #1 Central Arkansas 3, #4 FGCU 1 (8 innings) (elimination game)
It took extra innings, but #1 Central Arkansas was able to outlast #4 FGCU to set up an ASUN Conference Softball Championship elimination game with #2 Liberty on Friday. The contest finally came to a conclusion when Jaylee Engelkes walked things off for Central Arkansas with a home run over the right-field wall.
Game 9: #1 Central Arkansas 2, #2 Liberty 1 (11 innings) (elimination game)
For the first time in program history, Central Arkansas is headed to the ASUN Conference Softball Championship Final after defeating #2 Liberty on Friday. The top-seeded Bears eliminated the Flames from the postseason and are set to face #5 North Alabama on Saturday needing two wins against the Lions to claim their first league title.
Hudson made the play of the game in the top of the eighth with a home run to right center to give the Flames a 1-0 lead. Mary Kate Brown produced a clutch hit in the bottom of the inning to bring Tremere Harris from second to third and tie the ball game. The teams went back and forth over the next few innings but neither could push a run across. Brown doubled to left center then Morgan Nelson sealed the win with a shot down the left field line that brought pinch-runner Colleen Bare home.