Softball Advances to World Series Championship
COLUMBUS, Ga. — Arkansas State University swept through four opponents Saturday to advance to the championship game of the 2017 National Club Softball Association (NCSA) World Series. A-State will have to wait to learn its opponent in the title game Sunday, May 21, at the South Commons Softball Complex in Columbus, at 10:30 a.m. CT.
The winner of the Saturday late game between Virginia Tech and Grand Canyon University will play James Madison in a play-in game Sunday at 8 a.m. The winner of that game will face Arkansas State for the championship.
“This is our first trip to the title game in the five trips we’ve made here,” said an elated Chris Powers, the Red Wolves head coach. “We are in the finals undefeated.”
Following Friday’s pool play, NCSA officials decided to start Saturday’s play earlier due to the threat of rain. Despite the early start at 8 a.m. CT, A-State faced Clemson in the opening game and handed the Tigers an 11-1 loss. In the second matchup, Grand Valley State lost to the Red Wolves, 3-1.
A lightning delay in the bottom of the sixth inning halted A-State’s matchup with Florida State with the Red Wolves leading, 6-0. Once play resumed, Arkansas State finished with a 7-1 victory.
The winner’s bracket finale was a nailbiter with defending champion James Madison. With the Dukes at bat and two outs, A-State pitcher Shea Cothren got the final out to give Arkansas State the narrow 5-4 win and the trip to the final.
“Every player on the team contributed today,” continued Powers. “That’s why we’re heading to the championship game.”