Lawrenceville, Georgia – The UBC Thunderbirds softball season came to a close Saturday morning in Lawrenceville, Georgeia, as UBC lost 7-2 to California State San Marcos in the semi-final of the A.I.I. Conference Championship Tournament. The Thunderbirds finish the season 16-15.
With a berth in the next round of the NAIA Championships on the line, UBC and CSU San Marcos faced off for the second time in three days. UBC defeated the Cougars 11-5 on Thursday, day one of the A.I.I. conference championship tournament. Coming into the tournament, the Cougars were ranked No.5 in the NAIA.
Leigh Della Siega got the start for the Thunderbirds, but wouldn’t get out of the first inning. She walked three batters, threw one wild pitch, and gave up one earned run in just a third of inning of work. She was replaced by Alana Westerhof, who managed to get out of the inning unscathed as UBC trailed 1-0 through one inning of play.
The Cougars added to their lead in the third inning. Melyssa Bellamy singled to right field scoring Kaitlin McGinley to give CSU San Marcos a 2-0 lead. In the fourth inning, McGinley would drive in a pair of runs on a single up the middle to put the Cougars ahead 4-0 through four innings of play.
UBC finally got on the board in the sixth inning. After Yasmin Bains singled, Olivia Zwick stepped up and hammered a two run home run to right field to cut the lead to 4-2 through five and a half innings of play.
However in the bottom of the sixth the Cougars would counter with three runs of their own. McGinley doubled to left scoring a run. Then Caylyn Rodriguez hit a two run single to make it 7-2 CSU San Marcos through six complete innings.
The ‘Birds were unable to generate any offence in the seventh and that would spell the end of their run in the double elimination tournament, losing 7-2 to CSU San Marcos.
“Unfortunately, we ran out of gas and lost today,” said UBC head coach Gord Collings. “I was very pleased with the team throughout the tournament and disappointed for them – especially the seniors. We received many compliments for our competitiveness and character, which says a lot about the type of group we have.”
The Cougars now go on to play LSU-Alexandria in the championship final. Both teams automatically advance to the next round of the NAIA championships.