SALEM, Va. - Third-seeded Armstrong State University opened up action at the NCAA Division II Championships with a 7-3 win over sixth-seeded West Florida on Thursday evening at the James I. Moyer Complex in Salem, Va.
The Pirates (37-12) will now advance to face second-seeded Minnesota State Mankato at 1:30 p.m. on Friday. West Florida (45-14) will take on Southern Indiana in an elimination contest on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
Armstrong State opened the scoring in the bottom of the second inning as sophomore shortstop Macy Coleman launched a two-run home run to right center field in the bottom of the second inning to stake Armstrong State to a 2-0 lead. The home run was the 81st of the season for the Pirates, tying the single-season record set in 2014.
West Florida scored an unearned run in the top of the third inning on sophomore Logan Harrell's failed pickoff throw to third base that allowed Rachel Wright to score.
Armstrong State made the score 4-1 in the bottom of the third on senior Jane Trzaska's two-out, two-run single up the middle, but West Florida answered back in the top of the fourth inning on Callan Taylor's two-run home run that made the score 4-3.
The Pirates put up another two-run frame in the fifth on an RBI single by junior Autumn Parrish and a bases-loaded walk drawn by Coleman.
West Florida took advantage of an error to put runners on second and third with one out in the top of the sixth against Trzaska, but the senior got out of the jam with a 5-6-3 groundout and a comebacker to end the frame.
The Pirates added another run in the bottom of the sixth as freshman Tazha Williams led off with a double, moved to third on freshman Natalie Corbin's bunt single and then scored on Katie Collins' RBI groundout to short. All seven runs scored by the Pirates in the contest came with two outs.
Trzaska (18-7) notched the win, hurling seven innings and giving up just four hits and three runs - two earned - while striking out one in a 95-pitch performance. West Florida's Becca Taylor (27-9) took the loss, giving up seven hits and seven runs - six earned - in five-plus innings of work, walking four and striking out four.
Coleman finished the game 2-for-2 with a home run and three RBI at the plate to pace the Pirates, while Corbin and Trzaska also had two hits. Sara Spears' two hits led the Argos.