VIDEO: Vickee Hollifield Interview
VIDEO: Lacie Rinus Interview
VIDEO: Alli Webster Interview
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman's (31-7, 10-0 South Atlantic Conference) bats woke up late in to produce big innings and power the Eagles to a doubleheader sweep of Newberry (23-13, 5-5 SAC) Saturday afternoon at the Vickee Kazee-Hollifield Softball Complex.
The Eagles won game one 5-1 on the strength of a five-run fifth. A four-run fifth powered C-N in the nightcap to an 8-1 win.
"Their pitchers did a great job of keeping us off balance," head softball coach Vickee Kazee-Hollifield said. "We were really going after bad pitches, I give them credit though. We just need to be a little more disciplined at the plate."
The wins extend the longest active win streak in the Southeast Region to 17 consecutive games. Carson-Newman is the owner of the nation's fifth longest active win streak.
The Eagles also start 10-0 in South Atlantic Conference play for the first time since 1995.
"The last thing I said to the team after the games is that Lacie and Alli have given us a chance to win every game," Webster said. "We don't give them the chance to have an off day. What more can you say about a pitcher other than that they've given us a chance to win. Alli even sparked us in the batter's box. She had the toughest at bat in game one. No one worked harder than Alli in the batter's box today than her."
Webster led the team at the plate with a 3-for-5 effort and a pair of doubles. Rinus went 4-for-7 with two RBI and a double.
Taylor Scott (Huntington, W.Va.) reset her career high for runs batted in with five in the night cap.
The Eagles have won 11 consecutively against Newberry at home, dating back to a 3-1 loss to the Wolves in a 2007 doubleheader.
GAME ONE: Carson-Newman 5, Newberry 1
It took until the fourth inning, but Newberry struck first in a game in which base runners had been at a premium. Hailey Drawe hit a one-out single to center field and moved to second on a passed ball. Rachel Marion worked a productive two-out at-bat driving a base hit to center to score the unearned run and give the Wolves a 1-0 lead.
Carson-Newman awoke in the bottom of the fifth inning. Aided by a Newberry error, every Eagle in the inning came to the plate and C-N scored five runs.
Kristen Toppel (Roanoke, Va.) got the party rolling with a one-out, two-RBI single to center. Following a strikeout, KaraLynne Levi (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) nipped a double down the leftfield line to plate Fiessinger and give C-N a 3-1 lead.
Two pitches later, Toppel raced home on a wild pitch. The Eagles scored the final run of the inning when Lacie Rinus (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) hit an RBI, infield single to third to set the margin at 5-1.
Rinus snagged the win to improve to 16-3 on the year. She struck out 10 to reach double-digit Ks for a sixth time this season. She allowed four hits on the day.
Devon Morrison got hit with the loss to fall to 13-5. Morrison surrendered seven hits and five runs, only one of which was earned. She struck out six and didn't walk a batter.
Webster tallied her eighth multi-hit day of the year.
GAME TWO: Carson-Newman 8, Newberry 1
Carson-Newman began to figure out Newberry starter Emily Marchbanks in the fourth inning. Taylor Scott (Huntington, W.Va.) led off the inning with a walk and moved to second on a Levi sacrifice.
Rinus came through with a timely at-bat as she doubled down the left field line to score Scott from second. Rinus moved up to third on a wild pitch, then Katie Pritchett (Ringgold, Ga.) smashed the 10th pitch through the right side of the infield to score Rinus and put the Eagles up 2-0.
Scott padded the lead for the Eagles in a big way in the fifth. She came up with the bases loaded after a pair of walks and a Fiessinger base hit.
Scott jacked her sixth home run of the season to left center. The grand slam put C-N up 6-0.
Newberry got a run back in the top of the sixth. Marion sent a ripper to short that Toppel then booted into foul ground in left. That allowed Kristina Linton to score from two bases away.
The Eagles got that run back and then some in the sixth. Scott had her fifth RBI of the day with a single through the left side. The Eagles then loaded the bases with two out. Pritchett drove in her second run of the day by drawing a bases loaded walk which extended the Eagles lead to 8-1.
Interference on one of Carson-Newman's runners ended the threat of a run-rule win.
Webster moved to 15-4 on the year with the win. She gave up two hits, and the one run that Newberry scored was unearned.
Emily Marchbanks took the loss for the Wolves to drop to 8-8. She allowed nine hits and eight earned runs in 5.2 innings of work. She walked seven and struck out five.
The Eagles next match wits with Anderson on Wednesday. First pitch with the Trojans is set for 2 p.m. Coverage is available on the Eagle Sports Network at cneagles.com/live.