Photo Credit: Stacey Phillips

MUW Softball Playing in the Championship

MUW Softball Playing in the Championship

Special to the Packet


The Mississippi University for Women’s softball team secured a spot in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) championship by winning three games on Wednesday in the elimination bracket in DuBois, Penn. The No. 9-seeded Owls (25-19) staged an impressive run to the finals, defeating No. 1-seed Florida National University (4-2), No. 7-seed D’Youville University (14-10), and No. 4-seed Salem University (8-2) at Heindl Field.

In the championship game on Thursday, The W will face No. 2-seed Penn State-Brandywine. The Owls will need to defeat the Lions twice, as Penn State-Brandywine has not lost a game. This will be Penn State-Brandywine’s fourth game in the USCAA championships, while the Owls will be playing their eighth game, with a possible ninth, to vie for the title.

In the first game of the day at noon local time, the Owls eliminated the tournament’s No. 1-seed and reigning back-to-back USCAA champions, Florida National University. MUW secured the victory with single runs in the first, second, fourth, and fifth innings, ending the Conquistadors’ season (22-21).

Sophomore Rylie Grisham pitched a complete game, her 10th of the season, improving her personal record to 14-7. Grisham allowed eight hits and two earned runs while also contributing a 1-for-4 performance at the plate.

Senior Riley Phillips played a pivotal role for the Owls, going 3-for-4. Phillips hit a first-inning home run, replicating her success from the previous day, and also recorded a double.

Junior outfielder Alysa Newman went 2-for-3 with a double, a run, and an RBI. Senior Maddy Suggs, a product of Caledonia High School, was the only other Owl with multiple hits, going 2-for-3 and scoring a run.

MUW outperformed the Conquistadors, out-hitting them 10-8.

Next, the Owls faced familiar USCAA opponent D’Youville (19-28). D’Youville had eliminated The W from the USCAA championships in the past two seasons. Initially, it seemed like history might repeat itself when D’Youville took a commanding 6-0 lead over MUW after just two innings.

However, in the top of the third inning, The W mounted a comeback, scoring eight runs and taking the lead they would hold onto for the remainder of the game. During the explosive inning, MUW sent 14 batters to the plate, producing nine hits, drawing a walk, and having two batters hit by pitches.

The Owls achieved a USCAA single-game record of 20 hits as a team. Madison Crosby led the offensive onslaught, going 4-for-5 with a run scored. Leadoff batter Jessica Deming contributed with a 3-for-5 performance, driving in four runs and scoring one.

Third baseman Jaelynn Palmer (2-for-2, RBI), designated player Grisham (2-for-5, RBI), infielder Maiya Joe (2-for-5, two runs, two RBI), catcher Emilee Slade (2-for-3, four runs, RBI), and centerfielder Suggs (2-for-3, two runs, two RBI) all made significant contributions with multiple hits.

Newman, Crosby, and Joe each recorded doubles in the victory.

Avery Byerley (5-4) earned the win, pitching 6.0 innings

You can watch the game live at 11:00 a.m. Central Time today, May 18, 2023, on the USCAA Sports Network at