Fiessinger’s bomb headlines split at day two of Mid-South Classic

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Abby Fiessinger (Benton, Ky.) clobbered the 11th home run of her career and the first of her sophomore season to highlight a split of two games on the second day of the Mid-South Classic Saturday afternoon at Tyger River Park.

The Eagles fell in a tight contest 2-1 to UNC Pembroke before hitting Mount Olive early in a 4-1 victory. 

Fiessinger, Lacie Rinus (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) and Taylor Scott (Huntington, W.Va.) all had quality days at the plate. 

Fiessinger was 4-for-7 with  two runs scored, a triple, the dinger and two RBI.  Rinus and Scott both hit .500 for the weekend. Rinus was 4-for-8 and Scott 3-for-6.  Both players each hit a pair of doubles. 

Morgan Crawford (Chickamauga, Ga.) collected her fifth win of the season off her third complete-game effort in the night cap.

GAME ONE: UNC Pembroke 2, No. 25 Carson-Newman 1

Carson-Newman outhit the Braves 9-5 but couldn't come through with the timely hit to complete a comeback.  The Eagles were 3-for-12 at the plate with runners in scoring position. 

Pembroke grabbed an early 2-0 lead in the first inning off a bases-clearing double.  After singles to left and to center, Taylor Gearheart belted a one-out double to  left to score two runners and give Pembroke the two runs it would need to collect the win. 

The Eagles had a litany of chances to get back into things.  C-N left runners on the corners in the second after one-out singles from Ashlyn Cooper (Friendsville, Tenn.) and Scott. 

The third inning saw the Eagles strand Lacie Rinus (Murfreeboro, Tenn.) after she drilled a one-out double. 

Finally in the seventh, C-N seemed poised to break through.  Carson-Newman had the bases loaded with no one out following a Scott double, a Cheyenne Boles (Knoxville, Tenn.) pinch-hit single and a Fiessinger infield single to third. 

A fielder's choice back to the pitcher from Kristen Toppel (Roanoke, Va.) put the first out on the board and sent Rinus to the plate.

The sophomore hit a ripper to right.  The rightfielder dived to make a play on the ball and nearly came up with a diving catch.  Instead, she dropped the ball after falling to the ground. Eagle base runners had retreated to their bags to avoid being tagged up.  A pinch-running Haley Kyle (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) was able to score on the play to make it 2-1 on the hit.  In the ensuing confusion after the non-catch, Toppel was caught at second 9-6-4 for the second out. 

Haley Caldwell (Kenova, W.Va.) came up empty on a 2-2 pitch to strike out to end the game. 

It marks the third one-run game that Carson-Newman has lost this season with the tying run on third base in the seventh inning. 

Rinus was the hard-luck loser in the circle.  She allowed five hits, struck out five and walked two.

Malerie Leviner got the win to improve to 3-2 after punching out four.

GAME TWO: No. 25 Carson-Newman 4, Mount Olive 1

In the first meeting between the programs in more than two decades, Carson-Newman pounced early and road Crawford's arm to the win. 

The Eagles scored in the first inning for the first time since opening day and cruised to the victory. 

Rinus led off the game with a double to centerfield.  After a pop up, Fiessinger clobbered the first home run of her sophomore season off a 2-1 pitch to the right center field power alley. 

Carson-Newman added another run in the second.  Leah Sohm (Knoxville, Tenn.) knocked her first career triple into a gap in left field.  Cooper took advantage of a runner on third with an out and center a towering fly ball into right to allow Sohm to tag up and score on a sacrifice fly.  That made it 3-0 Eagles after two. 

Carson-Newman added its final run in the fifth.  Fiessinger continued her firm day at the office with a triple into right center.  After a pair of groundouts, Caldwell came through with a timely base knock through the left side of the infield to plate Fiessinger and extend the lead to 4-0. 

Mount Olive took advantage of an error at third in the sixth to scrape across an unearned run and set the final score at 4-1. 

Crawford went the distance with a complete game win to improve to 5-1.  She struck out two and only allowed two hits.  The run she allowed was unearned. 

Mallory Ratcliff took the loss for the Trojans to drop to 4-2.  She worked the first three innings of the game, surrendering four hits and three runs, all earned. 

The Eagles return to action Wednesday at Concord. 

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