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2006 Softball Championship Tournament: Hardin-Simmons Nabs Its First Crown
April 30, 2006

Day One Recap   Day Two Recap   Day Three Recap

IRVING, Texas --- West Division champion Hardin-Simmons ended the East Division's strangle-hold on the ASC Softball Championship with a 6-4 come-from-behind win over Louisiana College in Saturday's title game. First baseman Sayde Hill provided the fireworks, driving a two-out, two-run home run over the left field fence in the top of the seventh to spark a five-run Cowgirl rally.

The title won by Hardin-Simmons was the first for a West Division team since Schreiner won the 1999 ASC Softball Championship in the first conference tournament. HSU was runner-up to Louisiana College in last season's championship.

The Cowgirls (29-10) earned the ASC automatic berth to the NCAA Division III Softball Championship while Louisiana College (36-7) and the top-ranked team in the NCAA Atlantic Region awaits word of an at-large NCAA berth. The field for the 2006 national tournament will be announced on May 8.

2006 ASC Softball Championship All-Tournament Team (Selected by coaches)
Nicole Cortez, Hardin-Simmons (Most Valuable Player)
Sandi Clark, Louisiana College
Cricket Criner, Hardin-Simmons
Ashley Edwards, Mary Hardin-Baylor
Alisha Farrish, Mississippi College
Erica Harwell, Louisiana College
Sayde Hill, Hardin-Simmons
Katie Perry, Mississippi College
Chinesia Rhinehart, Howard Payne
Leanne Shanks, Louisiana College
Christy Shipley, East Texas Baptist
Kelli Shipley, East Texas Baptist
Arin Spence, Hardin-Simmons

Game 10: Hardin-Simmons 6, #5 Louisiana College 4 Box Score
Hardin-Simmons scored five runs in the top of the seventh to post a comeback 6-4 win over Louisiana College and earn its first ASC softball championship and a trip to the NCAA Softball Championship.

Louisiana College led 4-1 after six complete and poised to force the if-needed game in the double-elimination tournament. The first two Hardin-Simmons batters in the seventh reached on a single and walk, moving into scoring position on a sacrifice by Courtney Stewart. A double by lead-off Nicole Cortez cut the Wildcats lead to 4-3 and forced LC to replace starter Leah Heintze in the circle.

McCaslin Carson came in to pitch and retired Cricket Criner via strikeout. Cowgirl pitcher Arin Spence lined a double to right center scoring Cortez to tie the game (4-4). Sayde Hill then provided the highlight with the game-winning two-run home run over the left field fence.

Louisiana College had a rally of its own in the bottom of the seventh when Ashlyn Harmon doubled to right with one out, but Spence retired the final two batters on strikeouts to end the game.

Both teams put the ball into play with LC out-hitting the Cowgirls, 11-10, as Sandi Clark, Trista Helverson, Harmon and Allison Rieve each had two hits with both of Clark's going for doubles.

Cortez led HSU, going 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI. Hill and Nicole Espinoza also had two hits apiece.

Spence recorded the win with nine strikeouts and three walks. LC starter Heintze struck out five and walked one in 6-1/3 innings.

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