WALESKA, Ga. - No. 12 Biola slowed down the Taylor offense and kept the Trojans to just three hits, as the Eagles went on to win 4-0 in the opening game of the NAIA National Championship Opening Round.
The two teams were both scoreless after three innings, as Taylor's Hannah Klebesadel was pitching well as the game's starter.
The Eagles however put three runs across in the 4th inning. All of the runs were earned for Klebesadel, who was unable to recover from a pair of back-to-back walks to start the inning. The junior from Germantown, Wisconsin was replaced by Hannah Robbins in the middle of the fourth, and ended her day allowing just two Biola hits with four walks and two strikeouts.
The freshman Robbins walked-in a Biola run with just one out having been recorded in the inning, but eventually settled into the contest from the circle and closed out the remainder of the game giving up just one earned run with a walk and a strikeout.
The Trojans were getting on base and making good contact early on against Biola starter CeCe Luster, but Luster avoided any damage when Taylor threatened to gain an early lead. Luster completed three innings holding Taylor scoreless on just one hit, then gave the ball to hard-throwing Reba DePriest, who was dominant in four innings of work for the shared shutout.
DePriest started by striking out six consecutive Trojan hitters, and though Taylor collected two more hits in the contest, one in the sixth and one in the seventh, it was not enough to make a comeback against DePriest, who entered today's game with a record of 18-2 and an earned run average of just 0.46.
Alex Lovelace had a double to deep center field in the sixth inning, and Lauren Ehle was 2-3 with two hard-hit singles in the game to highlight the Trojan attack.
Taylor (41-16) will look to keep its tournament hopes alive tomorrow, as it will now play against the loser of No. 9 Reinhardt and Georgetown in an elimination game set to begin at 1:30 pm on Tuesday. If Taylor is able to win that contest tomorrow, the Trojans will play again at 4:00 pm.
Stay tuned to athletics.taylor.edu and the tournament sites at the links provided above for updates on Taylor softball's schedule and results.