Courtesy of the CIAA
Glen Allen, VA – The Bowie State University Bulldogs softball team is heading to the NCAA Division II postseason for the fourth time in school history after capturing the 2023 Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Championship at the RF&P Park, beating the defending CIAA Champions of Claflin University by a score of 8-2.
Claflin earned their spot in the Championship game after defeating Winston-Salem State by a final count of 3-1 earlier in the day. In that contest, Claflin held a 3-0 advantage late into the contest until Winston-Salem State pushed one across the dish in the top of the 7th inning.
Claflin tallied seven hits in the game with Kourtney White and Alexandria Beavers leading the Lady Panthers with a pair of hits each. Breyanna Collins picked up the win in the circle, struck out two but walked four.
Winston-Salem State (21-14) was led offensively by Aniyah Jackson with two hits in three at bats. The only other players to get hits for the Rams were Kamryn Kirby and Emma Eckhart with each accounting for one hit apiece.
No. 1 Bowie State and No.2 Claflin played an epic (game one) title game. After four scoreless innings, Claflin broke the drought in the top of the 5th inning, when Zecariya Fenwick scored from third to give the Lady Panthers a 1-0 lead.
Bowie State had two runners on base with two outs in the bottom of the 5th inning but could not push any runs across the plate. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, Claflin’s defense held for the remainder of the game, forcing a winner take’s all game in this double elimination tournament.
In the winner takes all game, the Bulldogs of Bowie State held a 3-0 advantage until the bottom of the 4th inning until Claflin trimmed their deficit to 3-1 heading into the fifth frame. Claflin cut the Bowie State lead down to one (3-2) in the bottom half of the 5thinning on single to shortstop, scoring a runner from third.
The Bulldogs put together a two-out rally in the top of the 6th inning, pushing a pair of runs across the plate to give Bowie State a little breathing room at 5-2.
Bowie State extended its lead in the top of the 7th inning, adding three more runs to their side of the scoreboard. The Bulldogs defense held the Lady Panthers scoreless in Claflin’s share of the final inning to seal the victory.
2023 CIAA Softball All-Tournament Team
Sierra Crocker, Winston-Salem State
Kara Green, Virginia State
Brenay Howard, Claflin
Lindsey George, Bowie State *
Aniyah Jackson, Winston-Salem State
Jaelyn Jackson, Claflin
Trinity Mizzelle, Bowie State
Hailey Darrington, Virginia State
Kayla Evans, Bowie State