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Baele, Murphy, Hastings, Valentine, Gengenbacher provide power surge at National Finals in St. George

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Addison Baele
ST. GEORGE, UT--Five Lake Land College Lady Lakers created a power surge at the NJCAA Softball Division I National Finals in mid-May, clobbering nine home runs in a five-game span, only one of those games without going yard at least once.

The nine bombs included two grand slams and featured three Lady Lakers who notched multiple home runs in the Nationals, two of whom clouted two homers in a single game, and one of whom went yard in successive at-bats.

Freshman, Addison Baele (Washington, IL; Washington Community High School), was the first to go yard, on the National Finals opening night versus Northeastern Oklahoma A & M College, a solo lazer to right-center field. Baele would blast a couple of two-run homers the very next night (right and left field, respectively) versus Florida Southwestern State College, the latter a walk-off to secure an eight-run rule victory.

Baele's trey of homers ties her with multiple players for the most home runs in a National Finals series, unconfirmed but according to tournament officials.

Suffice it to say, Baele was locked and loaded during those first two games.

To Lakerball's knowledge, Baele is only Lady Laker to ever hit a walk-off home run at the National Finals.

Tegan Murphy
Another locked in player early in the National Finals was sophomore, Tegan Murphy (Munster, IN; Munster High School), who clocked a home run in each of her first two tournament games, the first a towering blast into the Utah night for a grand slam to right field versus Northeastern Oklahoma A & M College, followed by a two-run shot to left field the next evening versus Florida Southwestern State College.

A second Lady Laker would go granny at the National Finals, freshman, Kendall Hastings (Riverside, IL; Riverside-Brookfield High School). Hastings grabbed those four RBI in the second game when she smoked one over the left field fence versus Florida Southwestern State College.

Kendall Hastings
To Lakerball's knowledge, a Lady Laker has never hit a grand slam at the National Finals until Murphy and then Hastings. The two grannies would also be a team record for Lake Land for grand slams at the Nationals.
Samantha Valentine

The only other sophomore to go yard at the Nationals was Samantha Valentine (Monticello, IL; Monticello High School), who uncorked a solo homer to right field to break up a potential shut out loss to Salt Lake Community College.

A third freshmen, Kendra Gengenbacher (Quincy, IL; Quincy Notre Dame High School), was the third of three Lady Lakers to hit multiple home runs at the National Finals. Gengenbacher was one of two Lady Lakers, both freshman, to hit multiple home runs in a single game, with two longballs versus Howard College.
Kendra Gengenbacher

Gengenbacher's first clout was a solo homer to left field, her second a two-run bomb to center field. Gengenbacher finished her freshman season as the Lady Lakers home run leader with 11.

Gengenbacher is the only Lady Laker to ever hit home runs in successive at-bats at the National Finals and was also named to the 2017 NJCAA Softball Championship All-Tournament Team.

To Lakerball's knowledge, the Lake Land College Lady Lakers hit more home runs as a team than any other qualifier at the 2017 National Finals.

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