JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman (27-15, 7-9 South Atlantic Conference) closes out play at The Vickee Kazee-Hollifield Softball Complex for 2018 with senior day and a showdown with league leaders and 11th-ranked Lenoir-Rhyne (38-5, 15-1 SAC) Saturday at 1 p.m.
This senior class has helped guide Carson-Newman to two South Atlantic Conference regular season titles, a tournament title and two trips to NCAA regional play.
A life-time .295 hitter and two-time All-SAC selection, Toppel has started 185 games for Carson-Newman and played in 187.
She has 161 knocks, 33 doubles and nine home runs. She has stolen 48 bases in 54 attempts in her career. Toppel ranks just outside the top 10 in SAC history for runs scored and stolen bases for a career. She matched the single-game school record for doubles with three in a game at Fort Valley State her freshman season.
Toppel has been hit by a pitch 32 times in her career, four more and she'll be in the top 25 in NCAA history for the most time struck by a pitch in a career.
Meanwhile, Pritchett is a two-time South Atlantic Conference and one-time Tennessee Sportswriters Association Player of the Week selection. Pritchett has played in 167 games and started 142 in her C-N career. She is the seventh player in the last 15 years to hit at least 20 home runs in her career at Carson-Newman.
Pritchett's final year at Mossy Creek has been her best. She is hitting a career-best .351. Pritchett has a share of the single-game school record for doubles with Toppel. She hit three against Concord her sophomore year en route to TSWA State Player of the Week honors. Of Pritchett's 110 career hits, 39 have been for extra bases, including a triple against King on Feb. 11, 2016.
Lenoir-Rhyne can clinch at least a share of a SAC regular season title for a 12th time with a split. A sweep of C-N would win the Bears the crown outright.
This marks the third season in four years that Carson-Newman and Lenoir-Rhyne have met in the regular season with the SAC title on the line.
This marks Carson-Newman's second matchup with a nationally ranked team this year. The Eagles split with No. 21 Queens earlier in the year.
Carson-Newman is tied with Catawba for sixth place in the SAC standings. The Eagles have a half game lead on Tusculum and Wingate, who are tied for eighth in the standings in the final spot for the league tournament. The Eagles are a game out of fourth place with two games in hand on Queens and Newberry, who are tied for the fourth spot in the South Atlantic Conference standings.
First pitch between the Eagles and Bears is set for 1 p.m. Saturday. Coverage of the contests will be available on cneagles.com/live.