MILTON — The West Florida Baptist Academy Lady Conquerors ended their 2018 softball season with an overall record of 18-3, including winning the Panhandle Christian Conference Championship Tournament.
WFBA entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed in the East Division and earned a bye to the second round of single elimination, facing Snook Academy of Robertsdale, Ala., who advanced by defeating East Hill Christian of Pensacola. Versus Snook, Allie Whiting tossed a 2-hit shutout with no walks and 4 strikeouts. Ayanna Kelker led at the plate going 3 for 4 with 2 RBI's. The team's batting average was .440 en route to a 10-0 victory.
Central Christian Saints of Robertsdale defeated the host, Santa Rosa Christian Eagles, in round 2 of single elimination to face the Lady Conquerors in the double elimination quarter finals. Conqueror's senior Jessica Lunsford pitched a complete game 8-2 win and went 2-4 at the plate. Katelyn Leavins led in RBI's with 2.
In a noon, Saturday semi-final game, WFBA met the undefeated Bayshore Christian Eagles of Fairhope, the #1 seed in the West, who recorded 2 regular season wins versus WFBA.
Bayshore entered the semi-final by eliminating Atmore Christian and defeating Aletheia Christian in the quarter-final.
Allie started for West Florida and enjoyed a 7-2 lead entering the 5th inning, but then Bayshore rallied for 3 runs. Lunsford entered in relief with 1 out and runners on 1st and 3rd, struck out the next batter, and then recorded a 5-3 ground out to end the inning.
That's as close as the Eagles would get as the Lady Conquerors rallied for 4 runs in the bottom of the 5th on 2 RBI hits by Kelker and Alyssa Johnson and 4 runs in the bottom of the 6th by an inside-the-park grand slam by Allie.
The final score was 15-8 with Allie credited with the win and Jessica the save. Johnson finished 3 for 5 with 4 RBI's, Madison Whiting 2 for 4 with 2 RBIs and Kelker 2 for 5 with 3 RBIs.
Central Christian advanced to the championship game by eliminating Aletheia and Bayshore.
The Lady Conquerors hot streak continued, though, as Lunsford allowed 3 hits in 4 innings with 1 walk and 1 strikeout in a complete game 16-1 victory. Allie was 3-3 with a walk and 1 RBI, followed by Johnson 2-4 with 4 RBIs, Leavins 1-2 with 2 walks and 1 RBI, and Meghan Teevan was 1-2 with 1 walk and 2 RBIs.
Jessica Lunsford earned the Tournament MVP.
"Jess had Central's number all year and she got the big strike out and ground out in saving Allie's win against Bayshore," Coach Steve Whiting said. "That settled this team, gave them confidence...Katie Lynn (Leavins) helped her look real good, too. She caught all four games, kept the runners in check, made an awesome pop out catch, hung on to several tipped strikeouts, and her bat and RBIs came alive all weekend...This was a great season with a greater group of girls. Praise the Lord!"