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PENSACOLA, Fla. -- The Claflin University softball team played well but came up just short, dropping the opening game of the NCAA Division II Softball South Regional 1 to West Florida 5-2 on Thursday in Pensacola, Fla.

The Lady Panthers fell to 33-19 overall and will face the loser of the No. 4 Mississippi College /No. 5 Valdosta game on Friday at 12:30 p.m. CST in the elimination game.

Chelsea Hall paced Claflin with one hit, scoring both the Lady Panthers' runs, with one RBI. LaKaylin Lee had three hits while Shaquailla German and Kayla Sanderson had one hit apiece.

Caitlin Steel had one run with one hit and an RBI to lead UWF, which improved to 41-13.

Tiona Hill had one run and the Argonauts' other hit in the game.

Claflin, who out hit UWF 6-2, got on the scoreboard first off a Hall home run to left center to start the game.

After neither team scored in the next inning and a half, the UWF offense came to life. The Argonauts placed their first two runners on base in the bottom of third via a walk and a single with a Lady Panthers' error.

A subsequent single up the middle coupled with another Claflin error gave UWF its first two runs of the game. The Argonauts tacked on one additional run in the inning to take a 3-1 lead after three.

UWF maintained the moment throughout the fourth inning, putting up two more runs to take a four-run advantage into the fifth, 5-1.

Claflin remained poised, using two hits and one UWF error to get one run back in the top of the fifth.

Both teams went scoreless in the sixth and the Argonauts' defense held strong in the top of the seventh en route to the three-run victory.

Tiaria Norman was the losing pitcher while Becca Taylor pitched a complete game in the win.


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