May 12, 2008
Rome, Ga. - Following an end-of-season ranking at No. 7 in the nation, the Shorter College Lady Hawks softball team will return to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics' National Softball Championship for the second straight year, held May 16-21 in Decatur, Ala. Shorter received the fourth at-large bid to advance.
The Lady Hawks will start pool play on Friday with their first game against Region VIII champion and No. 13 Bethel College (Ind.), with an 12:30 p.m. start time. Shorter will follow with a game against Region XII champion and unranked Indiana University-Southeast at 5:30 p.m.
On Saturday, Shorter will face some of their toughest competition all year, as they start the day at 10 a.m., against California Baptist University, the Region II champion and the No. 1 team in the nation. No. 8 Dickinson State Universty (N.D.), who received an at-large bid to Nationals, will play the Lady Hawks at 3 p.m.
At the completion of pool play, the top two teams from each of the four pools will advance on Mon. May 19, to a double-elimination eight-team bracket.
The Lady Hawks finished the Region XIII tournament last week as runner-ups, with an overall record of 49-11, after previously capturing the Southern States Athletic Conference tournament and regular season title.
After the completion of the Region tournaments, several Lady Hawks rank among the nation's best as they head to Decatur.
Libby Munson, named SSAC Freshman of the Year, ranks seventh in the nation in wins (26), 25th in hits allowed per game (6.27), and 27th in opponents batting average (.195). Not only does she lead the team in ERA and strikeouts, but she also carries her weight at the plate with a team-leading .429 batting average.
Becca Thomas, Shorter's other main starter, ranks 20th in wins (19) and 22nd in average walks allowed (1.20).
On the field, Lakyn Newton has putout an average 7.268 runners per game to place at 26th in the nation.
Jesscia Sanders ranks 34th in assists per game (2.5), 43rd in slugging percentage (.707), and 49th in total bases per game (2.107).
For a complete listing of pool play games, and a complete National Championship schedule, click here.