LIU Post CF Alexis Gonzalez hits an infield single during...

LIU Post CF Alexis Gonzalez hits an infield single during the top of the seventh inning in Game 3 of the NCAA Division II East Super Regionals versus Caldwell College at LIU Post on May 17, 2014. Credit: James Escher

LIU Post had a rough day in the field at the worst possible time, and now the Pioneers will have to take the long road to make a run at the NCAA Division II College World Series softball title.

No. 20 LIU Post issued six walks and made five errors Thursday in losing to top-ranked West Texas A&M, 8-1, in the opener of the eight-team tournament at Moyer Sports Complex.

LIU Post (50-10), which outhit West Texas 7-6, fell into the losers' bracket and will play at noon Saturday against West Chester (Pa.), which lost its opener to Armstrong Athletic (Ga.), 5-1.

"Obviously we didn't play very well defensively," LIU Post coach Jamie Apicella said. " . . . If you take out the errors and the walks, I think our pitchers did a pretty good job against their lineup. They only had one extra-base hit on us, but we couldn't get it done fielding-wise."

Apicella said LIU Post brought a .960 fielding percentage into the game. The Pioneers made only three errors in three games in the super regional.

"It's a tough field to play on," Apicella said. "When we practiced yesterday, we had some issues. The kids did a good job early . . . but the wheels sort of came off as we went on. I'm not sure why it occurred today."

West Texas, which has outscored its opponents 109-18 in the first inning this year and rarely loses when it takes an early lead, went ahead 2-0 in the bottom of the first.

"That's our softball right there," West Texas coach Kevin Blaskowski said. "We want to go out and score runs in the first inning.''

The Buffaloes (57-7) continued to capitalize on LIU Post mistakes and took command with a five-run fourth. Allie Cranfill's three-run double was the key hit.

The Pioneers got an RBI single from Aly Dzierzynski in the sixth inning and had the bases loaded with two outs but failed to score again.

"We need to forget about this game completely. We can't change it now," said Catherine Havens, who scored LIU Post's only run. "We've been in tough situations before, where we lost early in a tournament and then came back to win a tournament. So we need to try to do that again now."

Top Stories