CBU defeated Judson 9-0 in six innings to open the day and then erased a 1-0 deficit in the fifth inning of the semifinal game against Campbellsville to win 4-1 and advance to Saturday's final.
"I just told the girls how proud I am of the way they played and especially the way they hung in there and came back," said CBU Head Coach Bill Baber. "This team kept believing and never got down, which is something they've done all year."
Campbellsville broke Emma Holden's no-hit inning streak at 22 1/3 with a bloop single to center field and then scored on another single up the middle to go ahead 1-0. It was the first time CBU had trailed all tournament.
Unable to get anything going against Tiger starter Courtney Turpin, Kendall Gorham finally stepped to the plate with two outs and runners on first and second. With two strikes on her, Gorham smacked a double into center field, tying the game at 1-1.
"That hit by Kendall was phenomenal," said Baber. "It was a tough at-bat she had, but she battled and got that hard hit. From there we really got things going and got the offense we needed."
"Everyone had been hitting it to second base before then, so I knew she was going to pitch me outside especially when I got two strikes on me," said Gorham. "I have a tendency to have a long swing so I just choked up a little and when she threw it outside I went with the pitch and drove it into the outfield. It felt great knowing that I started the rally because I knew as soon as someone got that hit we needed everyone else would follow and they did."
After her teammates gave her the 4-1 lead, Holden made sure to slam the door shut, reaching a career milestone in the process with her 1,000th strikeout in the top of the sixth inning, becoming the first Lancer to do so. She finished the game with 12 total, 1,002 for her career.
"That's an amazing milestone for her, a testament to how dominant she is and it's also a testament to the great catchers she's worked with including Lindsay this year," said Baber. "Today even after she got behind she didn't give up and started pitching even better as the game wore on."
In the early game the Lancers again waited until the fourth inning to get the offense going, exploding for seven runs in the frame this time.
Tory Ferreira did her part to make the lead stand up, allowing just four hits and no runs in the game.
Ferreira worked her way out of a jam in the first inning, stranding runners on second and third by inducing a popout and then striking out the final batter swinging. She would not allow a runner past first base the rest of the way, striking out five and walking just one.
An RBI single by Lindsay Henry and a sac fly by Rodriguez put CBU up 9-0 and ended the game early after Ferreira worked a scoreless bottom half of the sixth.
"Tory gave us a great performance in that game," said Baber. "She worked her way out of a jam early and didn't let it faze her at all. Then the offense exploded and we knew they really had no chance to come back with the way Tory was throwing."
The two wins move CBU to 48-7 on the year. The Lancers will play the winner of Campbellsville and Trevecca Nazarene Saturday at noon. CBU will need just one win to take the NCCAA National Title, while their opponent will need to win twice.