Softball

Rivera's record homer keeps Softball alive at SAC Tournament

ROCK HILL, SC -- Catawba College junior catcher Jessica Rivera hit a one-out solo home run in the bottom of the eighth inning as the sixth-seeded Lady Indians defeated seventh-seeded Newberry College 3-2 in a loser's bracket game at the Food Lion South Atlantic Conference tournament at Cherry Park. The Lady Indians had dropped a 5-0 decision to Presbyterian to open the tournament. With the win, Catawba improves to 27-28 and will face top-seeded Lenoir-Rhyne Carson-Newman on Friday at noon in an elimination game. Newberry ends its season 26-27. Rivera's home run was her school-record fifth of the season and was one of only three hits for Catawba. Catawba benefited from a walk, a hit batter and an error to score twice in the sixth inning to take a 2-1 lead. Newberry was able to tie the score in the seventh on a two-out Catawba error that scored Brantley Riley from second. Newberry's Christina Kirby and Catawba's Shannon Handy were locked in a pitcher's duel for five innings. Newberry finally put a run on the board in the sixth as Jennifer Wilson led off with a single, went to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a ground out by Courtney Lindler. Kirby was lifted in the sixth after walking the leadoff batter and hitting the second batter. She allowed just two hits over five innings with two walks and three strikeouts. Neither of the runs she allowed were earned. Kayce McLeod took the loss, falling to 13-14. She allowed just the one hit over two and a third innings. Handy improved to 7-9 on the mound for Catawba. She pitched all eight innings, scattering seven hits with two strikeouts. Only one of the two runs she allowed was earned. Liz Corbett and Jeana Craver had the other two Catawba hits. Wilson and Kirby each had two hits for Newberry. In Catawba's first game, Presbyterian College senior outfielder Amanda Teal hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the first inning and Blue Hose sophomore pitcher Samantha Slater hurled a two-hitter as number three-seed Presbyterian blanked Catawba 5-0. Presbyterian improved to 41-11 overall with the victory. With one out in the PC first, senior shortstop Jamie Vining singled through the left side. Teal followed with her eighth home run of the season, scoring Vining and giving the Blue Hose a 2-0 edge. Slater made the most of the early margin, as she pitched a complete game shutout. She struck out one and walked two. Slater allowed two harmless singles, one in the third inning and one in the seventh frame. With the win, Slater is 12-3 overall on the season. Teal was two-for-three with two RBI for the Blue Hose. PC junior outfielder Whitney Hannon was two-for-two with one RBI. Hannon plated a run with an RBI single in Presbyterian's three-run third inning. The Blue Hose scored three runs on two hits and one error in the third frame. Catawba freshman pitcher Lindsay Ettinger (16-13 overall) took the loss for the Lady Indians. She allowed five runs (only two earned) on seven hits. Ettinger struck out none and walked two. #####

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