Softball Falls Twice to LR in Tourney Championship Games


SALISBURY, NC -- Lenoir-Ryhne came out of the loser's bracket to beat Catawba twice to claim the Championship of the 2013 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Softball Tournament on Sunday afternoon at Whitley Field.  The third-seeded Bears rallied for a 7-5 win in the opener then topped fifth-seeded Catawba 8-0 in five innings to earn the title.

With the win, Lenoir-Rhyne improves to 35-14 and earns the SAC's automatic-bid to the NCAA Southeast Regional.  Catawba falls to 32-19 and will await to see if it can claim an at-large berth into the regional.

Catawba roared out of the gate in the opener.  The Lady Indians scored five times as the first six batters reached base.  Amanda Terry (Cordova, NC/Richmond Senior HS) coaxed a leadoff walk, which was followed by a bunt single by Holli Chandler (New London, NC/N. Stanly HS) and a single through the middle by Tara Gibbs (Waynesville, NC/Tuscola HS) to load the bases.  A walk drawn by Sydney Hyder (Asheboro, NC/SW Randolph HS) forced in a run and put Catawba on the board. 

Carley Tysinger (Lexington, NC/C. Davidson HS) kept the line rolling with a single through the middle before Maryann Hoskins relieved Brandi Hole with none out.  Mollie Kovalcin (Latrobe, PA/Greater Latrobe HS) greeted Hoskins with a two-run single to make the score 4-0.  Gina Gerone (Brooklyn, NY/Madison HS) added a sacrifice fly later in the inning to cap off the scoring and make it 5-0 in favor of Catawba.

The Bears broke through in the fifth inning.  Brittany Coursen struck out and reached on a passed ball to start the inning.  Chelsey Long followed with a single through the middle.  With two on and nobody out, Jody Mizelle launched a home run to left to cut the score to 5-3.  The homer was Mizelle's second of the SAC Championship.

Jessica Fellmeth kept the momentum going, drawing a walk and advancing to second on a passed ball. A Haily Jarman infield single put runners at the corners before a single through the middle by Megan Laxton cut the score to 5-4.  Tysinger knocked down a line-drive and recorded a strikeout to keep Catawba on top.

L-R completed the comeback in the seventh.  Lauren Elder drew a leadoff walk, which was followed by a Fellmeth double to put runners at second and third with none out.  A single through the left-side by Jarman tied the score, before Ashley Oliver gave the Bears their first lead of the day with a two-run single to left-center.  That two-run single would prove to be the game-winner, as Hoskins retired the side in the seventh. The freshman earned the victory with seven innings of scoreless relief.

Fellmeth and Jarman each had three hits in the win for the Bears.  Mizelle had two hits, including the big three-run homer.  Hoskings allowed no runs off three hits with seven strikeouts.  Kovalcin had a pair of hits and two RBI for Catawba.

It was Lenoir-Rhyne that jumped out quickly in the final game with four first-inning runs. 
Hoskins made that hold up as she pitched five scoreless innings to earn her second victory of the day, allowing three hits and fanning one.  The freshman tossed 12 scoreless innings between Lenoir-Rhyne's two victories to improve to 16-6.

In the The Bear first, back-to-back singles by Mizelle and Lauren Elder put runners at the corners before an infield RBI-single by Fellmeth got L-R on the board. A bunt single by Jarman loaded the bases.  An error and bases-loaded walk drawn by Brittany Coursen made the score 3-0 abd a sacrifice fly by Ciera Cockerham capped off the scoring in the first and gave the Bears a 4-0 lead.

Lenoir-Rhyne kept rolling with two runs in the second.  Oliver and Megan Laxton each had RBI-singles in the inning for the Bears.  An RBI-single by Laxton tacked on another run for the Bears in the fourth and Elder's RBI-single in the bottom of the fifth gave L-R the 8-0 run-rule victory.

Six different Bears drove in a run in the game with Laxton collecting two.  Mizelle went 3-for-3 in the win  Amanda Terry, Mollie Kovalcin and Gina Gerone recorded hits for the Lady Indians.

Game 1 Box

Game 2 Box

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Softball Team Photo