Carson-Newman wins first games as a university thanks to doubleheader sweep from softball

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman (6-0) softball picked up the first wins of any Eagle athletic team as a university with a pair of one-run wins in a doubleheader sweep of King (1-3).

The Eagles took game one 4-3 before taking the second game in eight innings 10-9. 

"We knew they (King) would come out with high energy," C-N head coach Vickee Kazee-Hollifield said. "We tried to prepare our kids that they would be aggressive and we'd be matched up pretty equal, but our kids didn't quit and that's the greatest thing to take away with from today."

Game One: C-N 4, King 3

After King took a 3-1 lead through the first inning and a half, the Eagles would score three unanswered to complete a comeback and win 4-3 in their first regulation game of the season. 

The Eagles plated solo runs in the second, third and the eventual game winner in the fifth. 

In the fifth, Elayna Siebert (Knoxville, Tenn.) ripped a one-out single up the gut to reach second.  Following a Sarah Kelley (Ooltewah, Tenn.) pop out to left, Caitlyn Lance (Birchwood, Tenn.) singled to right before Bethany Davis (Nicholasville, Ky.) laced a double down the left field line to plate Siebert for what would be the game winning run. 

King threatened in the seventh, loading the bases with two outs.  However, King's Fallon Smith was called for runner's interference as Eagle second baseman Jessica Morgan (Ooltewah, Tenn.) tried to catch an infield popup from Tori McComas – ending the game. 

Cassie Lyons (Knoxville, Tenn.) fired the complete game to move to 3-0 on the season.  She struck out four and walked five. 

Brittany Hefner continued her stellar start to the season, going 1-for-3 at the dish with a double and an RBI.  Siebert was 2-for-3 at the plate with two runs scored. 

Game Two: C-N 10, King 9 (8)

Carson-Newman overcame two separate two-run King leads in the second game of the doubleheader to pull out the come from behind extra innings win. 

After King broke open a scoreless game in the fourth inning with a Christian Melcher double to center to plate a run and a Macy Shupe single to the second baseman that brought Melcher around for a run, the Eagle brought out the big bats to score six unanswered. 

The Eagles countered with two in the fourth and a four-run fifth.  In the fifth after Braleigh
Angel (Hixson, Tenn.) ripped a triple over the leftfielder's head, Jessica Morgan smacked a line drive single up the middle to score the freshman.  A batter later and with runners on first and second, Hefner sent a moon shot over the wall in left center into the pine trees just beyond the fence.

King would score three in the visitors' half of the seventh to force extras, then two more runs in the top of the eighth to set up the Eagles' dramatics. 

With darkness settling over the Lady Eagle Softball Complex and Kelley placed on second because of the international rule, Lance singled to third to put runners on the corners.  A Davis single would bring Kelley in for a run to bring the Eagles within one.

Angel would grab her only RBI of the day by looping a shot into shallow leftfield to bring around Lance. 

With the score tied and one out on the board, Morgan plastered a comebacker off the pitcher Light's glove to bring Cassie Lyons around from third to plate the game winning run. 

Kaitie Sims (Soddy-Daisy, Tenn.) picked up the W after throwing seven innings and striking out seven.  She improves to 3-0 on the year.  Light, meanwhile, lost her second straight contest after surrendering five runs across 10 hits. 

Kazee-Hollifield said the Eagles do have things to work on following the doubleheader sweep.

"Defensively we just weren't sharp," Kazee-Hollifield said. "Not for my liking and hopefully not for our players liking.  You can't take any hop for granted.  Hopefully we come out a bit sharper defensively next time out, which is something we had done in every game until now."

The Eagles are back at the LESBC Tuesday at 2 p.m. with another doubleheader against Lander. 

-CN-