A second-straight 50-win season for the Central Baptist College softball team ended just short of making the NAIA Elite Eight field.
Shorter College of Georgia ended the Lady Mustangs’ season by defeating them 2-1 in a regional pool championship Saturday at Gulf Shores, Ala.
The top 32 teams were divided into eight pools of four teams each. The winners of each pool will play this week for the national title, also in Gulf Shores. CBC, 52-1 last season, won the National Christian College Athletic Association national title last year. The school became a full NAIA member this season.
The Lady Mustangs, who finished 57-7 and entered the tournament ranked fifth in the nation, led Shorter 1-0 in the pool championship game before yielding two runs in the sixth. CBC threatened in both the sixth and seventh innings but couldn’t score.
The Lady Mustangs shattered the NAIA home run record this season with 135. The previous record was 96. They also ranked in the top five nationally in runs, batting average and slugging percentage.
Five players earned both first-team all-conference and first-team all-region honors: sophomore Christen Kirchner of Bryant, senior Kayla Lucas of San Marcos, Texas, sophomore Kiara Bonner of Brazoria, Texas; junior Jessica Bock of Jacksonville and junior Erica Gunter of Houston, Texas.
The CBC women have won 109 games in two season.
"That’s a lot of victories," CBC coach Jason Anderson said. "When you win 50 or more games in two years, you know your program is headed in the right direction. We achieved the highest national ranking (No 4 at one point) a CBC athletic team has ever had. We’re in good shape for the future. We lose four starters, but we have all our pitching back."