IRONDALE, AL – From nearly 365 days to the exact day, the Alabama State softball team thought about it, prepared for it and meditated on it.
From last season’s championship loss and through all the practices, games and hours spent getting better, the Lady Hornets returned back to SWAC Championship Saturday and found vindication by hammering Texas Southern 18-8 in redemptive style.
Alabama State pounded out a SWAC Championship game record 19 hits and had an unforgettable second inning in which the team sent 14 batters to the plate as part of a nine-run inning.
Even more remarkable, all nine runs were scored with two outs.
It was the Lady Hornets’ moment as the team combined to hit five home runs with a pair of two-run shots by Kendall Core to set the tone, back-to-back homers by Alexia Boggess and Brittney Wilson to pad the lead and another by Aleesa Yanez for good measure.
Alabama State (28-25) bolted out to an 11-1 advantage and got into a slugfest that they were happy to oblige with the Lady Tigers (27-18).
Six ASU players had multiple hits on the team’s way to securing its first SWAC softball championship in Alabama State history.
The game will re-air on ESPNU at 9 a.m. central time on Sunday.
Throughout the season, Alabama State players wore bracelets on their wrists that said “Ring chasin'” and didn’t take them off all season.
On their backs, they wore t-shirts that read “unfinished business” in reference to last season’s championship, in which it lost to Texas Southern 9-0.
“The taste of last year’s loss in the championship never left us,” said Wilson, ASU’s right fielder.
“From the fall to when the season began all the way to today, it never left. That taste was behind our “rings chasin'” bracelets and our unfinished business t-shirts. It feels awesome to finish it!”
Ring chasing no more, the Lady Hornets have finished their business.
Well, not entirely.
Now, it’s onto the NCAA Regional Tournament where ASU will enter a four-team grouping against a site to be determined starting on Friday and running through next Sunday.
The NCAA Selection Show will reveal where the Lady Hornets are headed next
It will be televised on ESPNU at 9 p.m. central time