Tusculum powers past Lady Eagles in seventh in SAC Tourney opener, 5-1
GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Fifth-seeded Tusculum plated four runs in the seventh inning to break a 1-1 tie en route to a 5-1 win over No. 4 seed Carson-Newman in an opening round game of the Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Softball Tournament Thursday morning at Red Edmonds Field.
The Pioneers (31-23) will play the winner of Thursday's final game between No. 1 Lenoir-Rhyne/No. 8 Mars Hill on Friday at 1 p.m. at Edmonds Field. Carson-Newman (31-21) will play the loser of the Lenoir-Rhyne/Mars Hill game on Friday at 1 p.m. in an elimination game at Chuckey-Doak High School.
With the score deadlocked at 1-1 after six innings, Tusculum pieced together three consecutive hits. Katie Gross got things started with her one-out double, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on Ashley Bagley's RBI single to plate the go-ahead run.
Katie Stuckwish followed with a RBI double to the right field gap, while pinch-hitter Brooke Lauritzen came off the bench and laced the third double of the inning to right and a 4-1 advantage. Kaytlin Stroinski capped the scoring with her RBI single up the middle for a four-run lead for the Pioneers.
Tusculum starter Elizabeth Johnson closed out her 26th win of the season as she retired the Lady Eagles in order in the bottom of the seventh.
TC's Katie Brennan led the Pioneers with her 2-for-3 performance, while Katie Gross also accounted for a multi-hit outing.
The score would remain that way until the top of the fourth inning when Ashley Burke tied the game with a solo home run to centerfield, her second round-tripper of the season.
Johnson (26-11) went the distance for her 31st complete of the year as she limited C-N to one run, a pair of hits, walked two and struck out three. C-N's Mary Shealy falls to 31-21 on the year as she allowed nine hits, five runs, one walk and three strikeouts.
The 2012 Food Lion SAC Tournament is being held on the campus of Tusculum College in Greeneville, Tenn. The eight-team, double-elimination tournament is being held Apr. 19-22 with the winner of the event earning the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Division II Tournament.
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