Game 1: Evangel 1, Avila 3
Game 2: Evangel 0, Avila 1
Record: Evangel (31-22); Avila (36-22)
Location: St. Joseph, Mo. – Heritage Park
However, both came up just short, as Avila knocked off Evangel, 3-1 in game one and 1-0 in nine innings in game two. The Crusaders were unable to push across the needed runs as Avila won the 2017 Heart of America Athletic Conference Postseason Tournament and earned the league's second automatic bid to the NAIA Opening Round National Tournament.
Evangel ends its season at 31-22 overall winning 30 games in back-to-back seasons under second-year head coach Jay Halbrook.
In game one, Michaela Tolliver tossed a 3-hitter and struck out seven to finish with 16 during the tournament. She was charged with just one of the three runs as the Eagles took their first lead of the game in the top of the seventh.
Evangel was unable to score in the bottom of the inning after Caitlin Buckalew led off with a double. She was tagged out on a Lauren Chambers fielder's choice as the Crusaders left four on base. Buckalew finished 2-for3 with the only RBI of the day for Evangel.
In game two, Kyra Parker held Avila to just one hit through the first six innings. The Eagles led off the game with a single, but the Crusaders and Parker retired 18 of the next 19 batters before Avila recorded its second hit of the game, a two-out single.
Parker stranded the runner and pitched a perfect eighth before a leadoff single in the ninth and an error gave Avila a base runner at third. A ground ball to the right side scored the game's only run which was not charged to Parker who struck out three and walked none.
More to come later.
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