SALEM, Va. - Freshman Tazha Williams' two-out seventh-inning grand slam snapped a scoreless tie to keep Armstrong State University playing at the NCAA DII Softball Championships with a 5-1 win over Humboldt State on Saturday at the James I. Moyer Complex in Salem, Va.
The Pirates (38-13) advance to face tournament top seed Angelo State at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday. Armstrong State will have to beat Angelo State on Saturday and again on Sunday to advance to the NCAA DII National Championship three-game series. Humboldt State ends the season at 44-15.
The game was a fantastic pitcher's duel between Humboldt State's Madison Williams and Armstrong State's Jane Trzaska. Williams and Trzaska each threw six shutout innings heading into the seventh, with Williams striking out nine and Trzaska giving up just one hit.
The seventh inning started with Trzaska leading off with a base hit to left field. One out later, Hannah Reppert singled inside the third base line - her 200th career hit as a Pirate - to put two runners on. A strikeout, followed by a four pitch walk to Connor Weaver brought Williams to the plate. The freshman from Metter, Ga., and the 2017 Peach Belt Conference Freshman of the Year fouled off four straight pitches before depositing an 0-2 pitch over the right center field wall for the grand slam home run.
The grand slam was the sixth of the season for the Pirates, setting a new Armstrong State and Peach Belt Conference single season record. After the blast, Natalie Corbin reached on a throwing error, then Katie Collins followed with an RBI single to cap the five-run frame.
Trzaska (19-7) gave up a two-out solo home run to Breonna Bejaran but finished the game with a two-hitter, walking one while striking out four. Williams (25-11) took the loss for the Jacks, giving up seven hits and five runs - four earned - and one walk while finishing the game with 12 strikeouts.
In addition to Williams' grand slam, Trzaska had two hits to lead the Pirates at the plate, while Bejaran had two hits to lead Humboldt State.
This is the third trip to the DII National Semifinals for Armstrong State Softball. The Pirates made the semis in 2013 and again in 2016.