Jackson, Tenn. - 5/9/2003 - The Union University Lady Bulldog defeated Lee University for the seventh time in seven tries to earn the NAIA Region XI Championship. Union's 2-1 victory on Friday earns them an automatic bid to the NAIA World Series in Decatur, Alabama on May 16 - 21. Entering the champinship game, Union was ranked No. 7 in the NAIA and Lee was No. 15.
Union jumped out to an early 1-0 lead when junior shortstop Amy Mejia led off the second inning with a double. Chrystal Surgaski followed up three batters later with an RBI double. Lee answered in the bottom of the second on an RBI single by Jessica Greene to score Mashaun Weaver. Union added the winning run in the top of the fourth. Mejia reached on an error then advanced to third on a double by Amanda Dixon. Freshman thirdbaseman from Jackson, Jessica Kee, made Lee pay for the error with a RBI single to score Mejia.
Leah Gronberg, the TranSouth Conference and NAIA Region XI Pitcher of the Year, pitched her 26th complete game of the year. She struck out seven batters in seven innings and walked none. Gronberg improved to 24-6 on the year. Jessica Pike (17-8) of Lee took the loss after a hard faught performace of her own. Pike allowed just five hits over seven innings with two strike outs and two walks.
This will be Union's third straight trip to the NAIA Softball World Series and their fourth in five seasons. Last season, Union finished ninth overall and the year before, they came away with a third place finish.
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