COLUMBUS, Ga. (NAIA) -- Williams Baptist (Ark.) pitcher Karisa Hendrix senior carried the No. 6-seeded Lady Eagles to a 3-1 upset of No. 3 Lee in the opening round of the 2013 NAIA Softball National Championship final site at the South Commons Softball Complex on Friday.
Williams Baptist (45-7) advances into the winner's bracket of the double-elimination event and will play the winner of No. 2 Lubbock Christian (Texas) and No. 10 Spring Hill (Ala.) Monday at 7 p.m. EDT.
Lee drops into the loser's bracket and will face No. 7 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) Saturday at 1 p.m. ET.
Lee ended the game with one run on five hits, four of which were singles, making Hendrix just the sixth pitcher this year to hold Lee to five-or-fewer hits (in 57 games). The Flames entered the championship No. 1 in the nation in batting average (.385) and hits per game (11.0).
"She has been doing it for us all year," said Williams Baptist coach Eric Newell about Hendrix. "Of course I am biased, but if I could pick anyone in the championship to throw, I would throw Karisa."
Caroline MacAusland of Lee matched Hendrix through four innings. MacAusland, who fell to 16-5 with the loss, allowed just three hits through four innings and Hendrix allowed two in the same span.
Felicia Woodard's RBI-single opened the scoring in the fifth, and Williams Baptist tacked on two more unearned runs to take a 3-0 lead.
"It was big to get the lead-off hit," said Newell on his team's scoring in the fifth. "We moved her over and played a little small ball. We did capitalize on some errors and had a squeeze play that paid off for us. We were happy to get the runs against a very good team."
Lee got one run back via a RBI double from Dominique Hannah in the bottom of the fifth inning. But Hendrix clamped down and got a fly-out to end the threat.
Information provided by NAIA Media Relations.
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