JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman (20-10, 2-4 South Atlantic Conference) knocked off No. 21 Queens (27-5, 4-2 SAC) in game one of a doubleheader before falling in the nightcap to earn a split with the nationally-ranked Royals for a split on Palm Sunday at the Vickee Kazee-Hollifield Softball Complex.
The Eagles got a win in game one 3-1 on the back of a career-high 12 strikeouts from Lacie Rinus (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) and a two-RBI double from Cheyenne Boles (Knoxville, Tenn.) before Queens pounded out six extra-base hits in the nightcap.
Abby Fiessinger (Benton, Ky.) went 3-for-6 at the plate with a double. Catcher KaraLynne Levi (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) threw out two runners against a Queens team that ranked 11th in the nation in stolen bases.
Game one: Carson-Newman 3, #21 Queens 1
It took until the sixth inning, but Carson-Newman broke through the with some timely late-inning hitting. The Eagles started out the inning with singles through the left side from Lacie Rinus (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) and Haley Caldwell (Kenova, W.Va.).
After a deep flyout to center, Cheyenne Boles (Knoxville, Tenn.) clobbered a 2-1 pitch down the left field line. It banged off the wall and let both a pinch-running Haley Kyle (Chattanooga, Tenn.) and Caldwell to score.
Boles' hit was the only knock in game one for either team with a runner in scoring position. The Eagles and Royals combined to go 1-for-13 with RISP.
Flex player Leah Sohm (Knoxville, Tenn.) entered to run for Boles. A failed pickoff attempt ricocheted out of the shortstop's glove and allowed Sohm to score from two bases away to give C-N a 3-0 lead.
Queens would load the bases in the seventh with three walks. The Royals would get one back on a Sara Ingoldsby sacrifice fly, but Rinus collected a career-high matching 12th strikeout to end the game and get the win.
Rinus went the distances, allowing three hits and a run in the contest. She matched a career high with 12 strikeouts and walked six. Rinus improved to 12-6 on the year with the win.
Courtney Pearson took the loss for the Royals to fall to 11-4. She gave up eight hits, struck out seven and didn't walk a soul.
Game two: No. 21 Queens 7, Carson-Newman 1
Queens grabbed the lead first, doing so in the second inning. Madison Ackerman doubled to left center to lead off the inning before Jordan Hunt walked. That set the table for Elaina Frantelizzi, who smacked a double into the alley way in right center. That scored both runs and gave Queens a 2-0 lead.
The Eagles got a run back in the bottom of the second. Taylor Scott (Huntington, Tenn.) lined a double into left before KaraLynne Levi (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) roped a base hit to center to score her and bring Carson-Newman within one, 2-1. The Eagles would load the bases in the inning with two walks, however, a strikeout left the bases loaded and the Eagles down by a run.
Queens added to its lead in the sixth. Hunt doubled to lead off the inning with a double to right. Abby Lathan then yanked a 3-2 pitch midway up the pine trees beyond the wall in left center field to push Queens lead to 4-1. A pinch-hit double from Allison Lopez scored another run and extended the advantage to 5-1. When the dust settled, the Royals had scored five runs off six hits, four of which were for extra bases and had a 7-1 lead in hand.
That lead would be the final margin. The Eagles missed out on an opportunity in the fifth inning and left the bases loaded after putting a runner at every base with one out.
Morgan Crawford (Chickamauga, Ga.) took the loss to fall to 8-4 on the year. She struck out a career-high eight, but also surrendered a season-high 12 hits. Half of the Royals knocks were for extra bases.
Shannon McGuire stayed perfect on the year, working 4.1 innings to get the win and improve to 10-0. She allowed four hits and the one run. She did walk six batters however.
Pearson notched her third save of the year, firing 2.2 innings of flawless, four-punchout softball to close up shop on the win.
The Eagles hit the road to Harrogate for a 3 p.m. doubleheader Tuesday at Lincoln Memorial.