The top ranked West Texas A&M softball team will remember Memorial Day 2014, thanks to winning the NCAA D2 softball championship.
The Lady Battin' Buffs battled Valdosta State into the 7th and final inning before prevailing. The game was scoreless going into the 7th and that's when WT's Brittany Gehle socked a three run home run, giving WT the lead. However, Valdosta State didnâ??t go down without a fight, with two outs in the bottom of the 7th, the Blazers hit back to back solo home runs, cutting the WT lead to 1.
Lefty Rita Hokianga then got a strikeout looking to secure the schools first ever softball title. Final score 3-2 and WT finished with a 60-7 record.
According to the pre-game release by the university:
WALK THIS WAY
The 2014 season has seen the Lady Buffs walk an impressive 318 times during the campaing to break their 2014 NCAA record of 310 walks, the record (288) was held by Barry University in 1988. Senior shortstop Alyssa Lemos passed former teammate Meghan Brown (09-12) to become the all-time NCAA DII career leader in walks (168) during the final regular season series against Angelo State. The senior shortstop enters Mondayâ??s National Title Game with 179 career walks.
HOME SWEET HOME
The Lady Buffs finished the 2014 season with an incredible 35-3 record at Schaeffer Park in Canyon as they claimed the programâ??s first ever South Central Super Regional Title. WT is 108-19 (.855) at Schaeffer Park since the facility opened prior to the 2011 season. This past weekend marked the third time in the last four years (â??11, â??13, â??14) that the Lady Buffs will host NCAA Postseason action in Canyon, registering a 10-5 record at Schaeffer Park during the postseason.
Entering this weekend, the Lady Buffs ranked first in all of NCAA Division II in on-base percentage (.474), fielding percentage (.978), slugging percentage (.654) and win/loss percentage (.889) while second in homeruns per game (1.63) and scoring (8.49) and fourth in doubles per game (2.05). Individually, senior shortstop Alyssa Lemos is fourth in walks per game (0.86) while Rita Hokianga is ninth in strikeouts (262), 10th in strikeouts per seven innings (9.8) and 11th in victories (25) with Renee Erwin ranking 12th in individual slugging percentage (.899), seventh in on-base percentage (.561) and 16th in batting average (.467) while fellow junior Allie Cranfill ranks 13th in homeruns (19). The national rankings reflect games played thru Sunday, May 18th.
RE-WRITING THE RECORD BOOKS
This season, the Lady Buffs have broken numerous West Texas A&M single season record while setting seven new individual or team Lone Star Conference marks along with way. WTâ??s Alyssa Lemos is the all-time league leader in runs scored (251) and walks (179), the 251 runs is 3rd all-time in NCAA Division II history while the senior shortstop holds the NCAA career record in walks. As a team, the Lady Buffs have broken the Lone Star Conference single-season records in runs (551), doubles (132), homeruns (104) and RBI (499) while also breaking the Lone Star Conference single season record for wins with 59. WTâ??s 551 runs ranks 4th all-time in the NCAA record books while the 132 doubles is fourth all-time and the 104 homeruns is third all-time. Renee Erwin broke the LSC record for runs scored (81) in a single season on Friday afternoon, passing ASU standout Morgan Spearman.
EYEING MORE RECORDS
The re-writing of the record books may not be done yet, the Lady Buffs are still within striking distance of two more Lone Star Conference records this season. WT has registered 27 triples this season and sits just one more from tying the league mark of 28 held by East Central (â??97) and Eastern New Mexico (â??98). WTâ??s Renee Erwin is just two total bases away from tying the LSC single season record held by Angelo Stateâ??s Macy Baker (175, â??09). The Lady Buffs have registered 337 walks this season to break the teamâ??s NCAA record of 310 happening last season.
DAKTRONICS RON LENZ PLAYER OF THE YEAR
West Texas A&M junior outfielder Renee Erwin was named the Daktronics Ron Lenz Player of the Year announced on Wednesday night. The Anna, Texas native, has been the backbone of the powerful WT offense during her junior season, leading the team with a .457 averages with 20 doubles, 6 triples and 17 homeruns to drive in 71 RBI on the season for a slugging percentage of .899 with 36 walks for an on-base percentage of .561 while going a perfect 21-for-21 on stolen bases. The junior outfielder also has 49 putouts and seven assists with just two errors in right field for the Lady Buffs, for a fielding percentage of .966. All stats are entering the College World Series.