CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Seventh-ranked Carson-Newman (14-1, 1-1 South Atlantic Conference) saw the third-best winning streak to start a season come to an end, but the Eagles' rallied in the nightcap to split a twinbill with Queens (11-5, 1-1 SAC) Saturday at Park Road Park.
Carson-Newman lost game one 1-0 in walk-off fashion before scoring seven unanswered, powered by a three-run Haley Caldwell (Kenova, W.Va.) home run, to get C-N a 7-3 win in the nightcap.
"We cannot be happy with our approach at the plate today," head softball coach Michael Graves said. "We are too good of a hitting team to not make adjustments as the game goes on. We didn't learn from mistakes in previous at bats and it cost us a game.
"Allison didn't deserve to lose that game but unfortunately she got zero run support. Game two was a little better but as a team, we still missed several opportunities. Hopefully we can chalk this up as a lesson learned and not let it happen again as we move forward."
Caldwell and KaraLynne Levi (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) both tallied multi-hit efforts in the nightcap.
GAME ONE: Queens 1, No. 7 Carson-Newman 0
Queens used timely two-out hitting to down Carson-Newman in game one in walkoff fashion. Grace Vochar started the rally for the Royals in the seventh with a two-out double to left center.
Cierra Robinson followed suit with one to the same spot to put a halt to Carson-Newman's unbeaten season.
The Eagles had a couple chances to put runs on the board, but never could capitalize. In the fifth, Taylor Scott (Huntington, W.Va.) doubled and Leah Sohm (Knoxville, Tenn.) singled to the pitcher to give the Eagles runners on the corners with one out. However, Lacie Rinus (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) lined into a double play at short to end the threat and the inning.
In the seventh, Ashlyn Cooper (Friendsville, Tenn.) smashed a double down the left field line. However, a strikeout and a ground out to third kept the potential go-ahead run off the board for the Eagles.
Allison Rager (Elkview, W.Va.) took the hard luck loss to fall to 7-1. She surrendered seven hits, didn't walk anyone and struck out four.
Courtney Pearson logged the win for Queens to improve to 7-1 with a four-hit shutout. She walked two and struck out three.
GAME TWO: No. 7 Carson-Newman 7, Queens 3
Queens picked up where it left off in game two. The Royals lit the lamp first with McKenzie McCullen. The cleanup hitter staked Queens to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first with a two-out blast.
Carson-Newman countered the next inning. Haley Caldwell (Kenova, W.Va.) led off the inning with a double and moved to third a Levi single to right. Scott drove home Caldwell with a one-out fielder's choice to pull C-N within a run, 2-1.
Carson-Newman raced in front in the top of the third. Caldwell jacked her fifth home run of the season, a three-run bomb with one out in the frame to give C-N its first advantage of the twin bill. The Eagles kept the party going in the inning with a Levi single to left. Ashlyn Cooper (Friendsville, Tenn.) scored her from three bases away with a two-out double into the right center alleyway.
When the dust settled, Carson-Newman had scored four times and taken a 5-2 lead.
The Eagles added to that advantage in the fifth. Arson-Newman loaded the bases with a pair of walks and a hit batsman. That set the stage for Scott. The junior doubled to left center to plate two and extend the advantage to 7-2.
Queens got a run back in the bottom of the inning with a two-out triple from Breanna Martinez followed by a base hit from Gerlea Patton. That pulled the Royals within four, 7-3.
Lacie Rinus (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) wrapped up the win to improve to 6-0. All three runs she allowed were earned on six hits. Rinus walked four and fanned five.
Shannon McGuire took the loss to fall to 3-3 in a five-inning start. Kristen McPhereson fired the final two innings. She only allowed one batter to reach base in relief.
Carson-Newman returns to The Vick for the first time in six weeks when rival Lincoln Memorial comes to town Wednesday. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. Coverage will be available on the Eagle Sports Network at cneagles.com/live.