Softball Eliminated From SAC Tournament With a Pair of Losses


HICKORY, NC -- Catawba entered play on Saturday at the 2009 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Softball Tournament as one of only two undefeated teams, but the Lady Indians were eliminated with a pair of losses at Bears Field on the campus of Lenoir-Rhyne University.  Catawba fell to Carson-Newman 10-7 in its first game then were eliminated with a 13-1 loss to top-seeded Wingate.

Carson-Newman pitcher Brittany Linton (Marietta, GA) allowed just one run on two hits in three and two-thirds innings of relief in helping sixth-seeded Carson-Newman hold off fifth-seeded Catawba for the victory in the winner’s bracket.  The win sends the Lady Eagles (28-15) to their second-straight SAC championship game.  Catawba drops to 25-19.
Linton, who improved to 5-2 on the season with the win, entered the game in the bottom of the fourth inning with the bases loaded and C-N leading 7-6.  She recorded a strike out and a ground out to end the threat.  The Lady Eagles would pad their lead with a pair of runs in the fifth and one in the seventh to build a 10-6 lead.

C-N collected 11 hits on the day, including two each from Whitney Durham (Rossville, GA), Stephanie Templeton (Ringgold, GA) and Amber Palmer (Kennesaw, GA).  Freshman Mary Shealy (Clinton, S.C.) added a three-run double, while Jessie Howard (Knoxville, TN) and Palmer finished with two RBI each.

The Indians tallied 10 hits.  Ryann Baker (Rockwell, NC/E. Rowan HS) went 3-for-5, including a pair of home runs, and had three RBI.  Jessie Whitesides (Yadkinville, NC/Homeschool) also contributed three hits in the loss.

The Lady Eagles built a 3-0 lead in the top of the first on a three-run double by Shealy.  Catawba answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third to trim C-N's lead to 3-2.  Baker led off the inning with a solo home run to left centerfield.

C-N responded with a four-run outburst in the fourth.  Whitney Kee (Knoxville, TN) reached base on a fielding error to lead off the inning and later scored on a Palmer double.  Howard delivered a two-run single.

Catawba was able to answer those runs in the fourth when it cut C-N's lead to 7-6.  Baker contributed a RBI double in the inning, while Whitesides and Cassie Markham (New Port Richey, FL/Mitchell HS) each produced a run-scoring single.  Alli Justice (Bishopville, MD) drew a bases loaded walk to pull Catawba to within one, but Linton allowed just one run the rest of the way, a Baker solo home run in the seventh, to seal the win for C-N.  Catawba left the bases loaded three times in the loss.

Catawba fell behind Wingate (33-13-1) in the second then Leyila Myers (Marietta, GA) added a two-out, three-run homer in the third as the Bulldogs began to pull away.  Catawba’s lone run came in the third on a bases loaded walk to Allie Marshall (Pleasant Garden, NC/SW Guilford HS), but the Lady Indians would leave the bases loaded and Wingate put the game away with five runs in the fourth.

Debra Grijalva (San Jose, CA) singled home two runs and Myers got her third hit of the game when she doubled to right centerfield driving in two more runs in the inning.  Grijalva hit a three-run homer in the fifth to put Wingate up, 13-1.

vs. C-N Box

vs. Wingate Box

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