ALBANY – The Albany State University Golden Rams held off Kentucky State University 4-3 to capture the 2018 SIAC Softball Championship Saturday afternoon at Gordon Park.
For the second time in as many days, Albany State faced off against and prevailed over the Thorobreds with a one run victory.
ASU’s starting pitchers Aryn McGowan and Lauren Lowrey were both named to the All-Tournament team as was Lavette Tucker, whose walk-off single on Friday propelled the Golden Rams into the title game.
The Golden Rams historic season will continue as they will now receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Playoffs. It will be their first post season appearance since the 2013 season which was also the last time the Golden Rams won the conference championship. It will be ASU’s sixth trip to the Division II Playoffs.
Albany State capped the school’s first ever undefeated SIAC season by running the table at this year’s tournament, the only team not to drop a game during championship play.
Aryn McGowan secured tournament MVP honors after entering the game in relief of Lauren Lowrey with bases loaded and no outs in the top of the fourth inning. With the Rams in front 4-1 the first batter McGowan faced, Kailen Olison pulled the Thorobreds within one when she smacked a 2 RBI single through the right side. McGowan escaped the inning with a fly-out out right field and two groundouts to get outs and the Rams clung to a one run advantage.
Backed by some solid defensive play, ASU protected the one run lead while McGowan allowed one to reach in the sixth and gave up a one-out walk followed by a single up the middle in the seventh. Demeshia Russell sealed the final two outs of the tournament and the title for the Golden Rams when KSU lined and flew out to right field ending KSU’s scoring threat.
All of ASU’s runs came in the bottom of the second inning. Kendyl Davis drove in the Rams’ first run and two batters later Jade Williams’ 2 RBI single scored Davis and Jordan Baranello. Williams then played decoy stealing second as Russell advanced from third to home plate and ASU led 4-0.
The Golden Rams will now await the NCAA Division II pairings which will be announced on Monday with regional play slated for May 10-12th.
Courtesy: Albany State Athletics