April 23, 2011
Softball Settles For Runner-Up Finish at SAC Tournament Following Loss to L-R
JEFFERSON CITY, TN -- Top-seeded Lenoir-Rhyne used a three-run first inning to spark an 8-0 victory over third-seeded Catawba in five innings to claim the championship of the 2011 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Softball Tournament on Saturday afternoon at the Lady Eagle Softball Complex. With the win, the eighth-ranked Bears (41-8) claim their second straight SAC Tournament championship and sixth overall. Lenoir-Rhyne also earns an automatic bid to the 2011 NCAA Division II Southeast Region Tournament. Catawba, making its first-ever trip to the tournament title game, falls to 32-19.
Lenoir-Rhyne junior pitcher Dawon Millwood (Hixson, TN), who gave up just one earned run in the Bears’ last three games, was stellar once again in the circle. Millwood (24-4) scattered four hits across five innings of work and had four strikeouts to complete her ninth shutout of the season.
Catawba squandered an early chance to put the Bears behind. Carly Sabat (Warren, OH/Howland HS) tripled to lead off the game, but was thrown out at the plate on Amanda Terry’s (Cordova, NC/Richmond Senior HS) grounder to short. Kayla Myers (Bryson City, NC/Swain Co. HS) followed with a double and Alli Justice (Bishopville, MD/Decatur HS) walked to load the bases, but Millwood snagged a liner back through circle then struck out a batter to end the frame.
The Bears took that momentum to the plate and scored three quick runs. Lenoir-Rhyne loaded the bases with singles by Jody Mizelle, Carlee Carpenter and Haily Jarman and Jessica Fellmeth delivered a single up the middle to drive in the first run of the game. After a force out at the plate for the second out, Brandi Haithcock singled to shallow left field to drive in two runs for the 3-0 lead.
Lenoir-Rhyne pushed its lead to 4-0 in the second, as Tameron Sealey singled to lead off the inning and later scored on a single up the middle by Kat Rivers. In the third inning, the Bears kept adding to their lead, as Fellmeth singled and later scored on a passed ball to give Lenoir-Rhyne a 5-0 advantage.
Lenoir-Rhyne put the game out of reach in the fourth inning with a three-run outburst. Fellmeth delivered a two-run double in the inning, while Sarah Atkins added a RBI single to give the Bears an 8-0 cushion.
The Bears pounded out 13 hits in the win. Fellmeth went 3-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored to lead the way. Carpenter, Rivers and Atkins added two hits apiece, while Haithcock finished with a hit and two RBIs.
Sabat went 2-for-3 to lead Catawba. Lady Indian starting hurler Emily Huneycutt (Locust, NC/W. Stanly HS) was tagged with the loss, giving up four runs and seven hits in an inning and two third of work in the circle. Brittany Murray (Asheboro, NC/E. Randolph HS) struck out four in two and a third innings of relief.
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