NEWS AND TRIBUNE
CLEVELAND, Tenn. —
Bethel (Ind.) College’s Natalie Newell pitched a no-hitter to end Indiana University Southeast’s season in the Lee Bracket of the NAIA Softball National Championship Opening Round double-elimination tournament on Tuesday. Newell struck out 15 and walked four in Bethel’s 1-0 victory over the Grenadiers (36-9). IU Southeast lost in its tournament opener on Monday to Olivet Nazarene, 7-2.
IU Southeast got runners in scoring position in both the top of the fourth and sixth innings.
In the fourth, Grenadier shortstop Brookelyn Visker led off the frame with a walk. After Megan Sutherland popped out to shallow left field, Floyd Central High School graduate Jordan Batliner drew a Newell walk to move Visker to second base.
But Newell ended the inning by forcing Darien Davenport to fly out to center and Jade Detzer to strike out.
In the top of the sixth, Sutherland drew a two-out walk, then stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error. But the threat ended when Batliner struck out swinging.
In the bottom half, Bethel second baseman Brookelyn Smith provided the game’s lone run. With one out and none on, Smith smacked a 2-2 pitch from Batliner over the left-field fence for a solo home run.
It was the only mistake Batliner made in an impressive complete-game effort in the circle.
Batliner gave up six hits, while striking out eight and walking one in dropping her record to 5-2. Newell improved to 15-7, while Bethel is now 27-12.
During the 2013 season, the Grenadiers won the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament for the second year in a row and the fifth time in seven seasons. IU Southeast’s 36 wins under new coach and former Floyd Central manager Joe Witten were the most in school history.