Fesperman's Homer Gives Softball 1-0 Win to Open SAC Tournament


HARTSVILLE, S.C. -- Senior Kim Fesperman’s (Kannapolis, N.C./S. Rowan HS) home run provided the only scoring as Catawba opened the 2015 South Atlantic Conference Softball Tournament with a 1-0 win over Lenoir-Rhyne on Thursday morning at Byerly Park.  The third-seeded Catawba Indians improve to 26-15 and will face the winner of the Anderson/Lincoln Memorial game on Friday at 10am.  The sixth-seeded Bears fall to 32-18 and will face an elimination game on Friday morning against the loser of the contest between Anderson and Lincoln Memorial.

Fesperman led off the bottom of the third inning with just her second home run of the season and third of her career to give Carley Tysinger (Lexington, N.C./C. Davidson HS) the only run she would need.  Fesperman connected on a 2-1 pitch to left field.

Lenoir-Rhyne got only two runners past first base against Tysinger, who surrendered just two hits and fanned 13.  After a one-out walk in the first, Madison Poe went to second on a ground out and to third on a passed ball before Tysinger struck out Ashley Oliver to end the top half of the inning.

Natalie Naturile (Thomasville, N.C./E. Davidson HS) doubled for Catawba with two outs in the first, but Maryann Hoskins, like Tysinger, ended the frame with a strikeout.  Tysinger sat down the side in the second and third innings then hit a batter with two outs in the fourth to end a stretch of 10 straight retired batters.  The junior would issue a two-out walk in the fifth, but would get a strikeout to end both innings.

Catawba tried to add to its lead, putting a pair of runners on in both the fourth and sixth.  Taylor Adams (Smithfield, N.C./N. Johnston HS) singled with one out in the fourth and went to third on a two-out single by Katherine Shumaker (Blanch, N.C./Bartlett Yancy HS).  Hoskins got a strikeout to end the inning.  Gina Gerone (Brooklyn, N.Y./Madison HS) and Shumaker had back-to-back hits with two outs in the sixth, but another strikeout by Hoskins ended the threat.

The Bears mounted their biggest scoring chance in the top of the sixth.  Poe singled with one out to end a no-hit bid by Tysinger.  Oliver singled with two outs to put runners at first and second, but Tysinger struck out Jordin Phillips to end the inning and went on to strike out the side in the seventh as she improved to 22-9 on the year.

Hoskins fell to 19-8 with the loss.  She allowed just the one run off seven hits.  She walked none and struck out 11.

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