Chattanooga State is seeded No. 1 for the NJCAA Division I softball tournament, and the Lady Tigers played like it Thursday at St. George, Utah.
They scored seven runs in the first two innings and made it a 7-0 win against Aiken (S.C.) Tech, and then they scored four in the first inning and beat former champion Wallace State of Hanceville, Ala., 10-1 in five. Chattanooga State (58-4) plays fourth-seeded Pima from Arizona at 3 p.m. EDT today in the double-elimination event.
In the NAIA national tournament in Gulf Shores, Ala., meanwhile, Lee University and Shorter University won their pool-play openers. Lee won 2-0 over Reinhardt despite a four-hitter for Reinhardt pitcher Maddie Monroe from Calhoun, Ga., and Shorter won 5-2 over St. Gregory's.
Jennifer Ringle led off the first inning for Lee (47-10) with a double and followed a walk by scoring on Ana Coscorrosa's fielder's choice. A run in the fifth was unearned, and Jessa Watts pitched a six-hitter for the Lady Flames, who today play Morningside, an 8-0 loser to Central Baptist of Arkansas.
Jackie Castaneda was 2-for-2 and matched Whitney Hood with two RBIs for Shorter (47-11).
Marina Wilkerson led off for Chatt State against Aiken Tech with a home run, and Beth Breeden added a two-run single in the first inning. Lacye Walker's three-run homer and Andrea Dalton's RBI single completed the scoring in the second inning of that game, when Ashley Czechner and Janna Scheff combined to pitch a two-hitter.
Walker was 3-for-4 and Dalton 2-for-3 in the opener, and Walker was 3-for-3 with another three RBIs in the night game, when Dalton was 3-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored, Courtney DeLay was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and Breeden and MeQuilla Franklin homered. Franklin was 2-for-2 and Wilkerson again scored twice.
Czechner pitched a four-hitter.
"The kids came out hungry and were swinging the bats," Lady Tigers coach Beth Keylon-Randolph said. "But we're still taking it one pitch and one at-bat at a time."