Bethune-Cookman (BCC) overcame Delaware State, 5-4, in eight innings to win the 2011 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Softball Championship, May 15 at the Ormond Beach Sports Complex in Daytona Beach, Fla.

The victory, Bethune-Cookman’s second consecutive softball title, gives the school an automatic bid to the 2011 NCAA Division I Softball Championship tournament.

The pairings are to be announced on a selection show May 15 at 10 p.m. on ESPNU.

The conference softball championship was delayed May 14 due to severe lightning.

Bethune-Cookman led the series, 1-0, after a 7-1 blowout win over Delaware State in game one of the double-elimination bracket. Game two was tied, 2-2, at the bottom of the second inning when the lightning began.

Bethune-Cookman’s win wasn’t easy. The squad fell once to Delaware State during the tournament’s early rounds on May 13, sending BCC to the loser’s bracket in the double-elimination tournament. But the Wildcats bounced back by ripping Howard, 17-0, to make its way back into the MEAC finals and another shot at Delaware State.

BCC got stellar play from key contributors Ashton Hinds, a senior outfielder, and Allison Garcia, a freshman pitcher. Hinds batted in three runs, while Garcia threw a 6-inning shutout against Howard to reach the championship.

More MEAC Softball Championship Tournament News:

Both Morgan State (MSU) and Coppin State University of Baltimore, Md. were eliminated durning the first two days of the tournament. MSU was knocked out of contention after falling to Norfolk State, 5-3, and then losing to Copping State, 6-0, both on the tournament’s opening day.

Coppin State stayed alive after defeating Morgan State on the first day, and then crushed Norfolk State on day two. But Coppin fell to Howard in a subsequent game, ending their season.

Coppin State junior pitcher Paige Arnold and Morgan State junior outfielder Sakina Smith were named to the all-tournament team.