Lady Buffs softball team wins National Championship


Gabriella Valforte sixth inning go-ahead grand slam lifted the Lady Buffs to a 4-1 victory over No. 24 Biola on Tuesday afternoon to win the 2021 NCAA Division II Softball Championship. Kyra Lair went the distance in the circle as the Lady Buffs won their second national title in program history and first since 2014.

Sydney Greeson registered the Lady Buffs first hit of the contest on BU's Paige Austin with a leadoff single to right field in the bottom of the third inning. Pinch runner Malaya Delfin would reach second on a single to center but a double play would end the threat for WT. 
 
The Lady Buffs would get runners in scoring position in the bottom of the fourth when Ruby Salzman was hit by a pitch. The redshirt sophomore would reach second on a wild pitch but would be called out at third on a fielder's choice. 
 
For the third straight inning, WT put the leadoff runner on in the bottom of the fifth via a single up the middle from Madison Johnson. The freshman would advance to second on a sac bunt from Sydney Greeson and move to third on a wild pitch. She was stranded their as BU's Austin recorded two straight outs to keep the game scoreless after five complete. 
 
The Eagles would break the deadlock in the top of the sixth inning on Kayla Neff's solo shot that just cleared the fence in left field. WT would rally in the bottom half of the inning with Shanna McBroom reaching on a leadoff single up the middle. Following a pop up to left field from Salzman, Erica Vessels would get hit by a pitch followed by a walk from Alyx Cordell to load the bases for Valforte. The freshman wasted no time to give the Lady Buffs a lead with a grand slam to centerfield on the first pitch of the at-bat. 
 
Lair allowed a two out double in the top of the seventh before getting Haley Martinez to ground out to Cordell and secure the Lady Buffs second national title. 
 
The Lady Buffs finish the season at 43-12 including wins 21 of their last 23 games after being picked to finish seventh in the LSC Preseason Poll. 

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