The Central Methodist softball team will advance to the NAIA World Series which will be held from May 22-28 in Sioux City, Iowa, after their eight inning, 4-2 win over Bellevue (Neb.). This season marks the school’s first Opening Round championship win and at 44-8, the Eagles set a record for the most single-season wins in school history, topping last year’s mark of 43 wins.
Down 2-1 in the sixth inning, Nicole Beck drew a one-out walk and advanced to third base after a wild pitch and a passed ball on back-to-back pitches. Nikki Giovenco then tied the score with a double that dropped into the left-center field gap, scoring Beck to even the score at 2-2.
In the top of the eighth, Giovenco reached on an infield single and Lindie Adair reached base on a fielder’s choice, with Giovenco beating a force out. A sacrifice bunt by Jessie Wilmes advanced both runners into scoring position, and with two outs, Michele Rupard hit a ground ball to Bellevue second baseman Ashley Gigax, who misplayed the ball, allowing two runs to score.
Central Methodist received the No. 5 seed out of 10 teams in the NAIA World Series. The Eagles will face No. 4 Campbellsville (Ky.) at 4 p.m. on May 22.
Campbellsville (38-9), ranked No. 7 in the NAIA final regular-season Top 25 poll, and will be Campbellsville’s first appearance in the NAIA Softball World Series. Central Methodist and Campbellsville met previously this season during the pool play portion of the Gulf Coast Invitational at Gulf Shores, Ala. The Tigers defeated the Eagles 9-2.