SHIPPENSBURG, PA (May 16, 2022) – The #7 Claflin University Lady Panthers (23-14) continued their fantastic run through the 2022 NCAA Division II Atlantic Region Tournament when the team took a dramatic 5-2 win over the Shippensburg Raiders (32-20), Saturday morning. The win was an historic one for the Lady Panthers as the team earned its first trip to the NCAA Division II Atlantic Region Tournament Finals in school history.
The Lady Panthers combined an offensive outbreak with a solid defensive effort to continue their historic postseason run. As a team, the Lady Panthers notched 10 hits in the game, including three extra base hits. It was junior outfielder Brenay Howard who stole the show for the Lady Panthers as she went three for four in the game with two home runs with two RBI in the game. Freshman outfielder Kennedy Baskerville also added a three-for-four batting performance with an RBI. Senior Marion Goins went two-for-four in the game with a run scored as well.
The two teams set a strong offensive tone early with both securing first inning scores. Shippensburg opened the game with a pair of first inning runs to leave the Lady Panthers trailing, 0-2, but the team answered in the bottom of the first inning when Howard hit a solo home run to cut the Lady Panthers’ deficit in half, 2-1. Goins tied the game in the third inning when she hit an RBI single to score Howard. The Lady Panthers took the lead when Baskerville hit an RBI single of her own to score freshman outfielder Aniya Jones. The effort left the Lady Panthers on top, 3-2 before freshman Tristen Keuchler added an RBi single to score Goins and left the Lady Panthers on top, 4-2. Howard capped the Lady Panthers’ scoring in the sixth inning when she hit her second home run of the day and left the Lady Panthers on top, 5-2. From there, the Lady Panthers held off the Raiders to claim the win.
Claflin senior Shaniya Thomas (10-7) picked up the pitching win after starting the game and going all seven innings. She finished the game with two runs allowed (none earned) on four hits with four strikeouts and just three walks in the game.
With the win, the Lady Panthers will go on to face the #2 Seton Hill Griffins in the championship game of the 2022 NCAA Division II Atlantic Region Tournament. The two teams are set to begin at about 11:35 a.m. For more information on Lady Panthers softball, contact the Claflin University Office of Athletics Media Relations at (803) 535-5548 or log on to www.athletics.clafin.edu.