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Bridgeford's walk-off home run in 13th inning gives BU 5-4 win

Kelsie Bridgeford hit a walk-off home run.

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OKLAHOMA CITY -- Back-to-back solo home runs by Amanda Neumann and Kelsie Bridgeford propelled the Bruins to a thrilling 13-inning comeback 5-4 win over fourth-ranked Oklahoma City University and force a second championship game Wednesday evening in the NAIA Softball National Championship Opening Round at Ann Lacy Stadium.

The Bruins struck first with a solo homer to left field by Neumann in the bottom of the third, giving BU a 1-0 advantage. OCU answered in the top of the fourth, tying the game at 1-1 on a solo homer to left-center field by Drew Wright.

After a three-hour rain delay, the Stars took their first lead in the top of the sixth on a solo shot over the left field fence by LeeAnn Lopez. 

The Bruins threatened in the bottom of the sixth with runners on first and second with two outs. Bridgeford singled to left field but Kindelin was thrown out at the plate to end the threat. 

Taylor Anderson led off the bottom of the seventh with a solo blast over the center field fence to knot the contest at 2-2 and force extra innings. 

A sacrifice fly to left field by Magean De La Torre scored Kyndra Holasek, giving the Stars a 3-2 advantage in the top of the 10th frame. 

Augusta Ratliff walked and Shelby Kindelin singled to left in the bottom of the 10th before Neumann was intentionally walked to load the bases with two outs. Bridgeford singled to center field to score Ratliff to tie the game at 3-3, but Kindlein was thrown out at the plate to extend the game. 

Consecutive doubles by Jamie Rateliff and Angela Lovelady gave OCU a 4-3 lead in the top of the 13th innning before back-to-back solo home runs by Neumann and Bridgeford gave BU the walk-off win. Neumann's 13th-inning home run marked her 19th of the season which tied for the BU single-season school record.

Neumann pitched all 13 innings as she improved to 16-3 on the year while Jamie Rateliff (23-4) suffered the loss for the Stars.

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