AUM softball wins first ever Gulf South Conference championship
The #4 Warhawks clinched their first title as a Division II program with an 8-2 win over #6 Mississippi College.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Auburn Montgomery softball team defeated Mississippi College on Saturday to win the Gulf South Conference Championship. It was the Warhawks’ first championship at the Division II level in program history.
“Its definitely super emotional,” said head coach Eric Newell. “I’m so genuinely happy for our 11 seniors. That’s what makes it for me - the joy of those kids.”
No. 4 AUM plated eight runs in the 8-2 victory over no. 6 Mississippi College, including a two-run homer from freshman Kathryn Fallen in the third inning, and a grand slam from fellow first year player Gia Martin in the fifth.
Starting pitcher Alanna Gable threw for three innings, tossing just three hits and two runs. Relief pitcher Bailie Barnes came into the game for the final four innings, allowing just one hit while striking out seven to earn her 15th win of the season.
Several of the seniors skipped their graduation to play in the championship game, including Kendall Tucker, who had an RBI single in the fifth. But, a championship ring is fitting reason to miss commencement.
“Those seniors have not gotten to play for anything their entire career,” said Newell. “The kids who stuck with me for five years, and the traditional seniors who stuck with me this whole time - this is the first time they’ve gotten to play for something. Every team has a story, but it’s super special for this group.”
AUM now has an automatic bid into the NCAA South Region Tournament, which will take place May 19-22. The selection show is scheduled for May 17.
It’s a chance to continue this historic run for the Warhawks after a tough few seasons.
“You talk about these last couple of years - they’ve been tough,” said Newell. “Going from no postseason at all, to when you think you finally have a postseason, then you have COVID. So this year is just an exclamation mark on the last three or four years.”
AUM (39-5) enters the NCAA Tournament on 19-game winning streak.
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