|Corban University (43-11)||0||3||0||4||0||1||0||8||16||3|
|Madonna University (32-16)||0||0||2||1||0||0||0||3||6||2|
|Columbia, KY Sparks Park|
|Corban University||Pitching||Madonna University|
|Corban University||Indv. Stats||Madonna University|
|#7 WOODLEY, Sam||Doubles||None|
|2 Players (#27,#7)||Home Runs||#20 Kish,Mikey|
PHOTOS | COLUMBIA, Ky. – The fourth-seeded Madonna University softball team saw its 2017 season come to an end on Wednesday afternoon in the NAIA National Championship Opening Round final at Marilyn D. Sparks Park. An 8-3 loss to second seed Corban University (Ore.).
Madonna saw senior Morgan Kaiser (SR/Flat Rock, Mich.) go 4-for-4 in the loss with a run scored as she finished the season with a .437 average, the second best mark in a single season while also finishing with the best career average at .413 as well as the top on-base percentage in school history with a four-year mark of .489.
Erin Combs (SR/Imlay City, Mich.), who ends her stellar senior season with the fifth most wins in a single season, took the loss in the contest. She posted a 23-9 record with a 1.82 earned run average in 172.2 innings pitched. Paige Montague (JR/Clio, Mich.) pitched well in relief as she allowed just one run on five hits with two walks in 3.2 innings. She finished the opening round with a 1.24 ERA in 5.2 innings of work as she allowed just one run and five hits in her three outings.
Kaiser got the Crusaders off to a good start with a leadoff single and moved to second on a batted ball by Kish who reached on a fielder's choice. A Bri Giordano (SR/Plymouth, Mich.) groundout put runners in scoring position and Cavagnini drew a two-out walk to load the bases, but a pop out ended the scoring chance.
The Warriors put two runners on with one out in the second and a strikeout put Combs and Madonna one out from escaping the jam, however, a pinch-hit two-run single put the visitors ahead 2-0. Two singles and an error brought in the third run for CU.
Combs worked around trouble in the third before Kish put a jolt into the Madonna bench as she blasted the first pitch she saw over the left centerfield fence for a two-run home run to cut the deficit to one, 3-2. Giordano reached on an error and Cavagnini followed with a single to left, which ended the day for Corban starter Sabrina Boyd. Allie Mendez, who shutout the Crusaders on Tuesday, came on and ended the inning with a pair of strikeouts.
Corban quickly answered the Crusaders' scoring with a pair of two-run home runs in the fourth, the second of which ended the day for Combs.
Kerstyn Comerzan (SO/Woodhaven, Mich.) began the fourth with a walk and scored on a Kaiser bunt and throwing error by Mendez. Kaiser moved to second on the play, but a pair of groundouts again ended the Crusaders rally.
The first and only run Montague allowed in the opening round came in the sixth as a pair of doubles made it 8-2. Madonna got a fourth single, with two outs in the sixth, from Kaiser, but could not drive her in.
The Crusaders end their season 32-16 while the Warriors, who earned a trip to their first ever NAIA Softball World Series, improved to 43-11 on the year.
The loss ends the season for the Crusaders who bid farewell to one of the best senior classes in school history. The nine seniors are Morgan Kaiser, Bria DeBono (SR/Lapeer, Mich.), Kayla Rebain (SR/Plymouth, Mich.), Erin Combs, Breanna Keethler (SR/Flat Rock, Mich.), Nicky Salloum (SR/Livonia, Mich.), Mikey Kish, Bri Giordano and Morgan Thompson (SR/Fort Gratiot, Mich.).
CONNECT WITH THE CRUSADERS: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube
BE THE FIRST TO KNOW: Text & Email Alerts
DOWNLOAD OUR MOBILE APPS: iOS (iPhone/iPad) | Android
DOWNLOAD TEAM SCHEDULES: Download Center