LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. – Southeastern took to the diamond with hopes of making it back to the NAIA World Series. However, after losing the first game to Oregon Tech 3-2 in 12th innings, and dropping the elimination game to Northwestern Ohio 4-0, the Fire have concluded the 2018 season with a 40-18 record.
Hannah Bodenhorn toed the rubber in game one against the No. 2 seed Oregon Tech. Bodenhorn delivered a marathon 12 inning performance, but came out on the short end of the decision. Arguably, Bodenhorn made two mistakes all game which led to two home runs, one of which coming in the top of the 12th. The junior logged six strikeouts and did everything she could to keep the Fire in the contest.
After an early strike from the Owls in the bottom of the 5th, a pair seasoned veterans answered the bell. Heather Faulk set the table for Brandee Pietrzak. On the 3-1 pitch Pietrzak lifted a ball high and deep over the left field wall to knot the game at two. Pietrzak and Faulk both went on to collect multiple hits throughout the contest.
Both teams did not have an answer for either pitcher, but the 10th inning showed some promise for the Fire. Haleigh Harrell reached first on an error, Pietrzak singled, and Sam Holcomb was intentionally walked. For some, it looked as if the Fire were about to walk off, but the Owls generated two momentous outs to slam the door shut.
A late inning home run by the Owls in the 12th and three final outs forced Southeastern to bounce back with their tournament lives on the line.
In a battle between the third and fourth seeds Southeastern took on Northwestern Ohio. Although Aubrey Brunst did not strike out one hitter in the Southeastern lineup, she was able to shut down the Fire’s offensive attack.
The Fire amassed a total of six hits, two of which came from Brianna Perez. Faulk, Pietrzak, and Haleigh Harrell also collected hits, but the Fire were unable to manufacture any runs.
Northwestern Ohio capitalized on Southeastern’s defensive mishaps to establish a commanding 4-0 lead in the final frame.
Down, but showing fight, Perez collected her second single of the game advancing Britt Robinson to second. The final three outs came in succession to end the 2018 campaign.
Southeastern ended its fourth consecutive season with 40+ wins and another trip to the NAIA Opening Round. For now the Fire will wait till 2019 to make yet another historic run.