Carey playes for crown

Published 7:00 am Friday, May 30, 2014

For the first time in school history, the William Carey softball team made it to the championship round of the NAIA softball World Series.

And a trio of players with local ties had a big hand in helping the Lady Crusaders reach that historic plateau.

Freshman leftfielder Tiffany De Vore of Picayune hit a solo home run in the ninth inning to push WCU past Reinhardt, 7-6Wednesday night and send WCU to the national title round at South Commons Park in Columbus, Ga.

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The Lady Crusaders took on Auburn-Montgomery Thursday night for the national title. Carey had to beat AUM twice to take the crown, after AUM handed WCU its only loss of the event earlier in the week.

The Lady Crusaders won twice Wednesday, thumping Oklahoma City, 7-0, in the first elimination game to stay alive.

In that game, senior catcher Janessa Dedeaux of Poplarville had a big two run single for the Lady Crusaders.

William Carey stood 51-11 entering play Thursday. WCU and AUM had met twice this season entering Thursday’s showdown. Carey took the first meeting back on May 2. defeating the Lady WarHawks, 6-5, in eight innings. AUM returned the favor on Tuesday as it defeated WCU, 2-1.

Devore’s big hit came with the two teams knotted up at 6-6 in the ninth inning. It was her first collegiate home run.

After that hit, former Pearl River Community College pitcher Brittany Leblanc did the rest as she retired the side to secure the win.

In the first win of the day, Carey broke open the game with a five-run third inning, en route to the 7-0 win.

LeBlanc went the distance in the circle for the Lady Crusaders. She allowed four base hits and one walk, while striking out three to improve to 20-7 overall for the season.

Carey denied Oklahoma City its 14th appearance in the World Series title game, and OKC concluded its season with a 55-13 record overall.

The Stars finished in the top four of the World Series for the 19th time in the last 29 years, including eight national championships.

The 34th Annual Softball World Series is a 10-team, double-elimination event