Lady Eagles rally to eliminate Wingate, 6-5, in Food Lion SAC Tournament
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. — Freshman Caitlyn Lance (East Ridge, Tenn.) smashed a three-run double in the top of the seventh inning for the game-winning hit to lift second-seeded Carson-Newman to a 6-5 victory over fifth-seeded Wingate in the loser's bracket of the 2011 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Softball Tournament on Thursday at the Lady Eagle Softball Complex.
With the win, C-N advances to face the winner of the matchup between eighth-seeded Lincoln Memorial and seventh-seeded Brevard in an elimination game on Friday at 11 a.m. Wingate concludes its season at 31-15.
The Lady Eagles trailed 5-2 heading into the seventh inning but they loaded the bases with one out to set up the comeback. Junior Mary Shealy (Clinton, S.C.) then drew a walk to score Amber Hewitt (Ringgold, Ga.), trimming Wingate's lead to 5-3. After Wingate recorded the second out, Lance stepped to the plate and lined a double to the gap in right center to clear the bases and give C-N a 6-5 lead.
Shealy then allowed only a single in the bottom of the seventh to seal the win. Shealy (35-12) picked up the win after giving up four earned runs and eight hits in seven innings of work.
Wingate built a 2-0 lead in the third inning, as Gina Ager (Columbia, Md.) produced a RBI double and later scored on a C-N error.
After struggling early, the Lady Eagles got things going at the plate in the sixth. C-N loaded the bases, and Lance drew a walk to score Whitney Kee (Knoxville, Tenn.). Freshman Sara Kelley followed with a run-scoring single up the middle to tie the game at 2-2.
Wingate seemed to take control of the game with a three-run outburst in the home half of the sixth, including a solo blast by Emily Chavis (Berkeley Lake, Ga.) and a two-run double by Jordyn Setzer (Taylorsville, N.C.). However, the Lady Eagles rallied to win the game with a four-run seventh-inning, including Lance's game-winning three-run double.
Both the Lady Eagles and Bulldogs finished the contest with eight hits. Lance went 2-for-4 with four RBIs to lead the way, while Shealy and senior Leah Price (Spring City, Tenn.) added two hits apiece.
Ager went 3-for-3 to lead Wingate, and Setzer finished with a hit and two RBIs.
Wingate pitcher Ashley Brown (6-5) took the loss after giving up one run and one hit in 2/3 of an inning in the circle.