Hawks' impressive run ends at the National Tournament

By: 
Jordan Parr
Sports Editor

In the Hawks' first game at the National Tournament against Seminole State, Howard College matched the Trojans with ten hits each but could not keep up on the scoreboard. The Hawks watched the game slip away early and couldn't recover in an 8-5 loss to the Trojans on Wednesday. Seminole State scored seven runs in the second on a singles by #4, #23, #30, #10 and a home run by #31. The Trojans opened up scoring in the second inning, when #4 singled on a 2-0 count, to score one run.
Howard College tried to make a comeback and notched five runs in the fifth inning. Jenna Shay and Paige Hallam each drove in runs during the inning.
#17 was in the circle for Seminole State. She lasted four innings, allowed eight hits, five runs and struck out fou. Julia Grib was on the rubber for the Hawks. Grib lasted one and two-thirds innings, allowed seven hits and seven runs. Kylie Shay came in and threw four and a third innings in relief as well.
Howard College launched three home runs on the day. Hallam, Shay, and Evelyn Loyola all went yard in the fifth inning. The Hawks had ten hits total in the game. Mackenzie Mitchiner and Loyola each collected multiple hits for Howard College. Mitchiner led Howard Hawks with three hits in four at bats.
Seminole State also totaled ten hits in the game. #6 and #23 each racked up multiple hits for Seminole State.
The first round loss to Seminole State put the Hawks into the losers bracket of the tournament and forced them into a situation on Thursday where they would have to play and win back-to-back games to stay alive and work their way back into the winners bracket.

In the Hawks' second game of the tournament against South Georgia State, Howard College responded the way they have all year. The Hawks stole the lead late in the game in an 8-5 victory on Thursday. Howard College outhit South Georgia State nine to eight in the game. The game was tied at five with the Hawks batting in the bottom of the sixth when Evelyn Loyola singled on a 1-1 count, to score two runs.
Loyola led Howard College to victory by driving in five runs. Loyola went 2-for-3 at the plate and drove in runs on a home run in the fifth and a single in the sixth.
Kylie Shay led things off in the pitcher's circle for the Hawks. Shay lasted seven innings, allowed eight hits and five runs and struck out two. #18 started the game for South Georgia State. She allowed five hits and two runs over three innings, struck out one and walked one. #5 threw three innings in relief out of the bullpen for Southern Georgia State as well.
Howard College socked two home runs on the day. Mackenzie Mitchiner had a long ball in the fourth inning and Loyola had a homer in the fifth inning.
The Hawks totaled nine hits in the game. Paige Hallam, Loyola, Madoline Seumalo, and Shay all had multiple hits for Howard College. Shay, Seumalo, Loyola, and Hallam each collected two hits a piece to lead the Hawks to victory.
After beating Souther Georgia State the Hawks had to turn right back around to face their next opponent to stay alive in the tournament.

In the third game of the tournament against Chipola the Hawks never could find their sticks on offense and were outhit in the game seven to one by the Indians in the season ending loss. Howard College fell behind early and couldn't come back in a 3-1 loss on Thursday. Chipola took the lead on a double in the first inning and never looked back.
The pitching was strong on both sides and the defense behind the pitching was outstanding as well. Both teams struggled to score runs. #6 was in the pitcher's circle for Chipola. She allowed one hit and one run over seven innings, and struck out two. Julia Grib toed the rubber for the Hawks. Grib went seven innings, allowed three runs on seven hits and struck out two.
Howard College smacked one home run on the day. Marissa Salinas had a four bagger in the fifth inning. Salinas went 1-for-3 at the plate to lead the Hawks in hits.
It was tough loss to end the season and the Hawks most definitely had loftier goals for themselves at the Nation Tournament, but the team still had and incredible year and showed everyone what Hawk softball is all about. The team represented their college and their community with class and distinction and we are all proud of them for the way they played and embodied the best aspects of sports and sportsmanship throughout the year. Congratulations Hawks on another outstanding season!

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