No. 1 LSUE, who won the first four games of the tournament including a 3-2 win over No.2 Phoenix College on Friday, needed to win just one game to capture their second national title in a row.
Instead, the Lady Bears won 5-1, 2-1 to win their eighth championship.
Kesley Hollier was the tournament Defensive MVP, while Tina Schulz, Jaci Trahan and Brooke Thomas were named to the all-tournament team.
“We had some opportunities we just didn’t capitalize,” LSUE head Andy Lee said. “We left too many on base as we just couldn’t get the big hit when we needed to.
“It just wasn’t our day offensively,” he said. “In the second game we held a very good hitting team to just two runs, we just couldn’t scratch out any runs.”
Phoenix jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the second when Rachel Meyer singled and Desirea Gil blasted a home run.
LSUE closed the gap to 2-1 in the top of the third when Jaci Trahan singled and later stole home when Brooke Thomas reached and stole second.
After the Lady Bengals pulled within one run, LSUE did not get another hitter to reach base as they went down in order the rest of the game.
Phoenix jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning of the opener when Cheyenne Adams and Krystal Garcia hit back-to-back triples both scored before the Lady Bengal defense stiffened to end the surge.
LSUE threatened in the top of the second when Ashley Taylor and Logan Fuselier both walked but Taylor was tagged out at home attempting to score to end the inning.
The Lady Bengals loaded the bases in the top of the third when Brooke Thomas singled, and scored on a hit by Taylor Simon.
Brooke Ort and Kesley Hollier both walked but Ort was thrown out at the plate to end the inning as she attempted to advance after Thomas scored.
Phoenix’s final three runs came off two home runs by Rachel Meyer and a solo shot from Desirea Gil in the fourth and fifth frames.
Fuselier tripled in the top of the fourth but was left stranded.
The Lady Bengals threatened again in the top of the fifth when Thomas, Ort and Tina Schulz all singled to load the bases but none advanced as the Phoenix defense stiffened.
Pam Wainwright was hit by a pitch with two outs in the top of the sixth and she was the last Lady Bengal to reach base in the first of the two finals.
LSUE left nine on base in the 5-1 loss with six hits to go with four walks and a hitbatsman.
Schulz suffered the loss as she allowed five runs on 11 hits with four strikeouts.