Chowan claims CIAA championship

Published 9:14 am Tuesday, April 23, 2013

PETERSBURG, VA – The Chowan University softball team captured the 2013 CIAA Championship on Saturday afternoon in a 7-3 victory over the Virginia State University Lady Trojans.  The title marks the second in program history, with their first coming in 2010 in the Hawks’ first year as part of the CIAA and was also against Virginia State.

Chowan pounded out 11 hits over the course of the afternoon.  Leigh Ward paced the Hawks offensively with three hits and two RBI’s in the win.  Shelby Pendleton tallied two hits with Amber Matthews knocking in two RBI as well.

Alora Lincoln earned her 15th win of the season on the mound, and was named the CIAA Tournament Most Valuable Player.  She scattered nine hits in the contest and just two earned runs in the championship win.

Virginia State got on the board first in the contest after a Hawk error in the outfield in the top of the second.  Chowan quickly recovered in the home half of the frame, when Hannah Joyce scored off Tori Cragan’s single to left field and Ward’s single allowed Kelly Hardison and Cragan to score giving the Hawks a 3-1 lead.

Matthew’s single through the left side gave the Hawks an additional run in the bottom of the fifth, and Courtney Basker’s RBI single extended Chowan’s lead to 5-1.

The Lady Trojans rallied to score two runs in the top of the sixth frame when Virginia State scored off an RBI triple and single up the middle.   With the score 5-3 in the home half of the sixth, the Hawks gave themselves some cushion after Liz Hipple’s single to right field allowed Lauren Astengo to score, and Pendleton tagged up to score on Matthew’s infield fly.

Lincoln closed out the win for the Hawks after forcing a bases-loaded ground out to secure the 7-3 victory.

With the victory, Chowan finished 15-1 against CIAA opponents this year and 26-21 overall. The Hawks also earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Division II Atlantic Regional against an opponent to be determined later.

Lincoln, Matthews and Ward were named to the 2013 CIAA All-Tournament team.