TIger Softball On Marshall News Messenger Top Sports Story List
The Marshall News Messenger announced the Top 12 sports stories for the area recently. At number seven, the ETBU softball team winning their seventh American Southwest Conference tournament championship and falling one win short of qualifying for the 2013 NCAA Division III National Championship tournament.
Here is Marshall News Messenger Sports Editor Tyler Clifton’s story:
ETBU SOFTBALL TEAM FALLS ONE WIN SHORT OF PLAYING FOR A TRIP TO THE NATIONAL TOURNAMENT, MAY 12
The Tigers beat top-ranked rival UT Tyler twice to win their seventh American Southwest Conference tournament championship and advance to regional action ironically in Tyler. The teams had split their six meetings of 2013 and met once again the winner’s bracket, where UTT took a 4-1 win.
ETBU fought its way through the loser’s bracket and held a 6-0 lead, before a four-run seventh inning tied the game, and the hosts scored the game-winning run in the top of the ninth inning. Tawny Hank’s line drive down the first-base line was snared by Rachel Howell to prevent the game from being tied again, and it marked the end of quite a four-year career for ETBU’s Lya Swaner, who was a finalist for NCAA Woman of the Year and was the lone member left from the 2010 team which brought a national title back to Marshall.
Head coach Janae Shirley continued another strong run at the helm and welcomed her second child in late 2013. Shelby Parker had a solid year in the circle with her 15-4 record and is part of the entire team returning in 2014 with the exception of Swaner and including All-American first baseman Lacy Liles of Elysian Fields. The team expects a return trip to Tyler, as it’s the site of the 2014 World Series May 22.