Softball Tops Carson-Newman to Reach SAC Tournament Final


JEFFERSON CITY, TN -- Third-seeded Catawba held off a late rally by second-seeded Carson-Newman to avoid elimination with a 4-3 victory on Friday in the loser’s bracket final of the 2011 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Softball Tournament at the Lady Eagle Softball Complex.  With the win, the Catawba Indians (32-19) advance to the finals and will face top-seeded Lenoir-Rhyne on Saturday at 1 p.m.  If Catawba wins the first game, the teams would play a second game at 3:30 p.m. for the title.  Carson-Newman concludes its season at 39-15-1.

Catawba struck early with a pair of runs in the first. Carly Sabat (Warren, OH/Howland HS) and Amanda Terry (Cordova, NC/Richmond Senior) led off the inning with back-to-back singles.  Two batters later, Tara Gibbs (Waynesville, NC/Tuscola HS) lined a single through the right side to drive in both runners and give the Indians a 2-0 lead.

C-N pulled to within a run in the third.  Dariayn Wright singled to lead things off.  After she advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Leah Price, Wright stole third and scored on a throwing error to trim Catawba’s lead to 2-1.

The Lady Indians pushed their lead to three runs in the fifth.  Kayla Myers (Bryson City, NC/Swain Co. HS) delivered a RBI triple and then scored when Alli Justice (Bishopville, MD/Decatur HS) reached on a fielder’s choice to give Catawba a 4-1 advantage.

The Lady Eagles made things interesting in the seventh as Sara Kelley delivered a two-run triple with two outs to trim Catawba’s lead to 4-3.  Emily Huneycutt (Locust, NC/W. Stanly) would record the final out on the next batter to seal the win.

Huneycutt (18-9) surrendered three runs and five hits in seven innings of work to pick up the victory.  C-N starting hurler Mary Shealy was tagged with the loss.  Shealy (35-13) gave up four runs and seven hits in six innings in the circle.

The Indians tallied seven hits in the win, including a 2-for-2 effort from Terry.  Gibbs finished with a hit and two RBIs, while Myers contributed a triple.  Kelley produced a triple and two RBIs to lead the Lady Eagles, while Kim Whaley added a double.

Catawba fell 2-1 to eighth-ranked and top-seeded Lenoir-Rhyne (40-8) in their first game of the day.  The Bears took a 1-0 lead in the first on a RBI triple by Kat Rivers.  L-R increased the lead 2-0 in the fourth as Carlee Carpenter doubled home a run.

Lenoir-Rhyne starter Dawon Millwood did not allow a base runner until the fifth and did not allow a hit until Sabat singled in the sixth.  Catawba was able to load the bases and drew within 2-1 when Sabat scored on a pitch.  Millwood got Gibbs to pop up to end the frame.

Huneycutt took the loss, giving up the two runs on eight hits.  She struck out three.  Millwood surrendered just three hits and fanned nine to improve to 24-4 on the year.

Rivers went 3-for-3 to lead the way for Lenoir-Rhyne.  Carpenter and Laxton finished with two apiece.  Terry had a double after the Sabat single to help load the bases in the sixth.  Lauren Lewis (Concord, NC/N. Mecklenburg HS) had the other hit for Catawba to lead off the seventh.

Lenoir-Rhyne Box

Carson-Newman Box

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Softball Team Photo