One of the nation’s most dominant pitchers throughout the season continued her impressive work, Monday as Spring Hill (Ala.) freshman Caroline Sagrera struck out 11 in a two-hit shutout to help the 15th-ranked Badgers blank Virginia Intermont, 10-0 in five innings, in the first game of the NAIA Softball National Championship Opening Round USC Beaufort Bracket at Richard Gray Sports Complex.
The second-seeded Badgers staked Sagrera to an early lead with two unearned runs in the first inning and broke it open on Mariha Partman’s three-run homer to left field in the second. Sagrera (32-8) took care of the rest, keeping the Lady Cobras (36-13) off-balance with an array of pitches.
Sagrera allowed a leadoff double to Micalah Sacre in the first, then retired nine straight – eight by strikeout – before Krystle Brenneman’s infield single to start the fourth.
Partman went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and scored four runs, and Katelyn Hinson was 3-for-4 with three RBIs to lead the Badgers (42-14). Taylor Webre added a pair of RBIs.
Sacre (14-5) took the loss, as she was charged with five runs (two earned) on five hits over three innings.
Spring Hill advances to face USC Beaufort at 11 a.m. Tuesday, while Virginia Intermont falls into an elimination game against Cumberland (Tenn.) at 2 p.m. Tuesday.