Murray Blanks Wingate as Softball Wins SAC Tourney Opener


GREENEVILLE, TN -- Catawba opened play in the 2012 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Softball Tournament with a 5-0 victory over Wingate on Thursday afternoon at Edmonds Field.  The Catawba Indians, seeded second, improve to 33-15 and will face third-seeded Anderson on Friday morning.  Seventh-seeded Wingate, now 26-23, face Brevard in an elimination game on Friday morning.

Brittany Murray (Asheboro, NC/E. Randolph HS) notched seventh shutout of the year to improve to 16-9, earning her third win over the Bulldogs this season.  The senior walked two and struck out three.

Catawba struck for two runs in the bottom of the first to take the lead.  Michaela Boyd (Concord, NC/NW Cabarrus HS) singled with one out and scored on a double by Alli Justice (Bishopville, MD/Decatur HS).  After a single by Tara Gibbs (Waynesville, NC/Tuscola HS), Kelsey Burgess (Charlotte, NC/Gaston Christian HS/N. Greenville) brought in run number two on a sacrifice fly. 

The Lady Indians added three more runs in the third to break the game open.  Boyd again started the rally with a one-out single which was followed by singles from Justice, Gibbs and Burgess.  The hits by Gibbs and Burgess brought home runs.  Emily D. Huneycutt (Oakboro, NC/W. Stanly HS) drove in the final run with a two-out double.

Wingate never really threatened.  The Bulldogs got a runner to second with two outs in the first and had a leadoff double from Betsy Braswell in the fourth.  Braswell also doubled with one out in the sixth, but did not advance.  Kasey Pendley had the other hit for Wingate.  

Catawba got two hits each from Boyd, Justice and Gibbs.  Burgess had a pair of RBI.

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