Softball

Softball Heads To Sunday's Final Day Undefeated

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HARTSVILLE, S.C. -- Catawba pounded out 11 hits in advancing to Sunday's South Atlantic Conference Softball Tournament final by topping Newberry 11-2 on Saturday at Byerly Park.  The third-seeded Catawba Indians improve to 28-15 and move to Sunday undefeated in the double-elimination tournament.  The fifth-seeded Wolves fall to 31-21 and will battle Anderson for a chance to get to Sunday's 1 pm championship.  Either team will have to beat Catawba twice to earn the title.

The game did not start well for Catawba as Newberry plated a pair of runs in the top of the first.  After a walk and a hit batter to open the game, Carley Tysinger (Lexington, N.C./C. Davidson HS) came back to strike out the next two batters.  With two outs, Ann Dee Priest and Hailey Drawe drove in runs with singles up the middle.

Taylor Adams (Smithfield, N.C./N. Johnston HS) quickly turned the game around in the bottom of the first.  Kristen Stinnard (Concord, N.C/Cox Mill HS) led off with a bunt single and Caroline Turner (Kenly, N.C./N. Johnston HS) singled.  After a sacrifice by Natalie Naturile (Thomasville, N.C./E. Davidson HS), Adams connected on a three-run homer and the Lady Indians were off and running.  Before the frame was over Holli Chandler (New London, N.C./N. Stanly HS) had added a two-run single for a 5-2 lead.

After a short weather delay following the first inning, Catawba added to the margin in the second.  Naturile tripled and scored on a two-out single by Gina Gerone (Brooklyn, N.Y./Madison HS). After a walk to Katherine Shumaker (Blanch, N.C./Bartlett Yancy HS), Gerone scored on a wild pitch.

The game was halted again at that point for nearly two hours and when the contest resumed Emily Huneycutt (Oakboro, N.C./W. Stanly HS) homered to right on the first pitch and it was 9-2.  Turner and Naturile added RBI singles in the third to make it 11-2.

Newberry had runners in each inning except the second, but Tysinger kept the Wolves off the scoreboard after the first.  Newberry tried to keep the game going by loading the bases in the fifth.  Tysinger got a strikeout and pop up to end the game in five innings.

Turner, Naturile, Gerone and Huneycutt all had two hits in an 11-hit outburst by the Lady Indians.  Shumaker walked in all three of her plate appearances and scored twice.  Stinnard, Turner and Gerone also crossed the plate twice.

Tysinger improved to 24-9, winning for the 16th time in her last 18 starts.  She gave up the two runs on four hits with a pair of walks and eight strikeouts.  Brittany Middleton (9-9) took the loss after a rough first inning.

Catawba is 18-5 since a doubleheader loss to Carson-Newman in late March.  It marks the third time in five years the Lady Indians will play in the tournament final and the second time in three years they advance undefeated to the final day.

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August 24

Volleyball vs. UNC Pembroke 11 a.m.

Volleyball @ Francis Marion 3 p.m.

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August 25

Volleyball vs. Converse 11 a.m.

Volleyball vs. Emmanuel 5 p.m.

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August 30

Soccer (W) vs. SAINT ANSELM 5 p.m.

Soccer (M) vs. BARTON 7:30 p.m.

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August 31

Volleyball vs. West Texas A&M 11 a.m.

Volleyball @ Tampa 7 p.m.

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