A-State Softball Finishes NCSA World Series As Runner-up
COLUMBUS, Ga. — Despite a hard fought campaign, Arkansas State University’s dreams of winning another national title were dashed Sunday when the Red Wolves lost to the U.S. Naval Academy, 11-5, in the championship game of the National Club Softball Association (NCSA) World Series Sunday morning at the South Commons Softball Complex in Columbus.
"The players fought hard in Georgia," said head coach Keith Hinson. "We played nine games in three days. In the Navy game, they had a rally in the first inning scoring seven runs. We fought back and scored five runs, but ended up falling short. At the end of the day, it is not what we wanted, but it was a great year and the girls fought hard to be the runner-up to the national champion."
A-State earned the right to defend its 2017 championship after defeating James Madison, 4-3, in the loser’s bracket Sunday to advance. Navy breezed through the tournament field with no losses.
The Red Wolves came into the tournament as the top seed and started pool play Friday on a strong note by defeating Rutgers, 13-3, then fell to Central Michigan, 5-3, in the second game. A-State rebounded in Pool A’s final game with an 8-5 win over San Diego State.
Following pool play, all teams were reseeded and Arkansas State went into bracket play seeded sixth, and knocked off 11-seeded Iowa State, 11-1, defeated James Madison, 6-3, and beat Florida State, 8-6, then lost to Navy, 10-0, during a Saturday of play filled with frequent rain and lightning delays.
After a late night finish, A-State learned it would have to play James Madison again Sunday morning. The narrow victory gave the Red Wolves another chance to play in the title game for an opportunity to defend the title.
Navy got off to a quick hitting surge to a 7-2 lead and A-State had to play defense and catch-up throughout the game.