Carson-Newman rally falls short against Catawba, 4-3, in SAC Tournament
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. — Third-seeded Catawba College held off a late rally by second-seeded Carson-Newman to claim a 4-3 victory on Friday in the loser's bracket final of the 2011 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Softball Tournament at the Lady Eagle Softball Complex.
With the win, the Indians (32-19) advance to the finals and will face top-seeded Lenoir-Rhyne on Saturday at 1 p.m. If Catawba wins the first game, the teams would play a second game at 3:30 p.m. for the title. Carson-Newman concludes its season at 39-15-1.
Catawba struck early with a pair of runs in the first. Carly Sabat (Warren, Ohio) and Amanda Terry (Cordova, N.C.) led off the inning with back-to-back singles. Two batters later, sophomore Tara Gibbs (Waynesville, N.C.) lined a single through the right side to drive in both runners and give the Indians a 2-0 lead.
C-N pulled to within a run in the third. Dariayn Wright (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) singled to lead things off. After she advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Leah Price (Spring City, Tenn.), Wright stole third and scored on a throwing error to trim Catawba's lead to 2-1.
The Indians pushed their lead to three runs in the fifth. Kayla Myers (Bryson City, N.C.) delivered a RBI triple and then scored when Alli Justice (Bishopville, Md.) reached on a fielder's choice to give Catawba a 4-1 advantage.
The Lady Eagles made things interesting in the seventh, as freshman Sara Kelley (Birchwood, Tenn.) delivered a two-run triple to trim Catawba's lead to 4-3. However, Emily Huneycutt (Locust, N.C.) recorded the final out in the next at bat to seal the win.
Huneycutt (18-9) surrendered three runs and five hits in seven innings of work to pick up the victory.
C-N starting hurler Mary Shealy (Clinton, S.C.) was tagged with the loss. Shealy (35-13) gave up four runs and seven hits in six innings in the circle.
The Indians tallied seven hits in the win, including a 2-for-2 effort from Terry. Gibbs finished with a hit and two RBIs, while Myers contributed a triple.
Kelley produced a triple and two RBIs to lead the Lady Eagles, while junior Kim Whaley (Maryville, Tenn.) added a double.