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SOFTBALL
Record: 37-24 Home: 16-7 Away: 13-10 Neutral: 8-7 HAAC: 22-14
 
Softball - Mon, May 15, 2017
1
VS
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Avila
(4)Marian University
The Eagles fell to No. 1 Marian on Monday in the first round of the Costa Mesa Bracket. (Photo Credit: Brandon Droge)
The Eagles fell to No. 1 Marian on Monday in the first round of the Costa Mesa Bracket. (Photo Credit: Brandon Droge)

Costa Mesa, CA - The Avila Eagles were downed the No. 1 seed Marian (Ind.) Knights on Monday afternoon in the Costa Mesa Bracket of the NAIA Softball Opening Round, falling 6-1 to be pushed into Tuesday's 1:45 p.m. (PST) elimination game with Vanguard (Calif.).

The Eagles (0-1) were unable to get any offense going against Marian's Breena Smith, who tossed five shutout innings to pick up her 25th victory in 25 starts this season for the Knights (1-0). Smith struck out six Eagles, including four in the first two innings.

Avila's Kayleigh Behymer, who went 5-0 last weekend in the Heart Postseason Tournament, surrendered six runs (4 earned) over 3.2 innings on Monday as her and the Eagles struggled to keep Marian off the board in the early innings. The Knights plated single runs in the first and second innings to build a 2-0 lead, and then two runs in the third and fourth to build a 6-0 lead.

The Eagles scored their lone run in the top of the sixth inning when Mackenzie Pritchett singled home Abby King with nobody out in the inning. King tripled to lead off the sixth for the Eagles, picking up their only extra base hit of the afternoon. King has now scored or driven in a run in six of Avila's seven postseason games thus far.

Marian took an early 1-0 lead on an infield single from Mackenzie Reeder in the first, and plated their second run in the second inning on another infield single off the bat of Vanessa Lay. The Knights were able to double their lead in the third with a two-out, two-RBI single from Olivia Hoffman. Hoffman hit a ball straight into the ground, but the ball bounced high off the hard dirt, going over third baseman Sam Castoldi into short left field. Marian's Reeder blew it open with a two-out double that brought home two more runs in the bottom of the fourth, ultimately knocking Behymer from the game.

Abby King did a nice job for the Eagles in relief, tossing 2.1 scoreless frames to keep the Eagles in it. Unfortunately for the Eagles, their offense was unable to get much of anything going against the stout pitching from the Knights as Smith and Grace Lumpkin combined to surrender just one run on seven hits to the Eagles.

Avila had better luck against Lumpkin, smacking five hits over the final two innings, but they were only able to get the one run on the board on Pritchett's sixth inning single. The Eagles loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the seventh, but Pritchett was unable to beat out a slow ground ball to the infield as the Eagles fell, 6-1.

With the loss, Avila will play host and No. 2 seed Vanguard (Calif.) in an elimination game at 3:45 p.m. CST (1:45 p.m. PST). The winner of that game will play in the semifinal matchup against the loser of the early game between No. 1 Marian and No. 3 Oregon Tech. The winner of the final game on Tuesday will play the winner of the Marian-Oregon Tech matchup in the Costa Mesa Bracket Championship game.

Links for Tuesday's games can be found below:

Media: Live Stats - Live Video (There is a fee to watch video: $7.95 per game/$19.95 Tournament Pass) The live video and stats will be running on a hard line, so there should be no issues with freezing.

Tournament Headquarters