Gerone's Record Breaking Three Homer Day Leads Softball to SAC Championship


HARTSVILLE, S.C. -- Catawba won its first championship in fast pitch softball by topping Anderson 7-3 to claim the title at the 2015 South Atlantic Conference Softball Tournament on Sunday afternoon at Byerly Park.  The third-seeded Catawba Indians improve to 29-15 and gain an automatic berth into the NCAA II Southeast Region Tournament which will begin on May 8.  The 23rd-ranked Trojans fall to 39-13.

Gina Gerone (Brooklyn, N.Y./Madison HS) highlighted the win as she connected on a school-record three home runs to account for five RBI.  Carley Tysinger (Lexington, N.C./C. Davidson HS) limited Anderson to just four hits to improve to 25-9 on the year.

With the wind blowing out, Catawba took advantage with three home runs in the bottom of the first.  After an 11-pitch opening at bat by Kristen Stinnard (Concord, N.C/Cox Mill HS), Caroline Turner (Kenly, N.C./N. Johnston HS) hit the first pitch she saw out to left to put the Lady Indians on the board.  Natalie Naturile (Thomasville, N.C./E. Davidson HS) made it back-to-back homers on consecutive pitches, driving one out to center.

Taylor Adams (Smithfield, N.C./N. Johnston HS) nearly made it three home runs on three pitches, but Trojan right fielder Courtney Czentnar pulled her drive back inside the park.  Gerone followed with her first home run of the game to make it 3-0 after an inning.

Tysinger sat down Anderson in order over the first three innings and Gerone doubled the lead in the Catawba third with a three-run homer.  Singles by Turner and Adams set the stage for Gerone's two-out blast to center.

In the fourth, Jessica Neidigh walked to give the Trojans their first base runner and Cailah Niles homered two batters later to make it 6-2.  Anderson had two more runners in the fourth, on a walk and hit batter, but Tysinger worked out of trouble.

Gerone led off the sixth with her record-breaking homer to make the score 7-2.  Czentnar led off the seventh for Anderson with home run, but Tysinger shut the door and posted a strikeout to end the game.

Gerone was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate, while Turner had a pair of hits and scored twice.  Tysinger would walk three, hit one and fan 11 in tossing the complete game.  Lauren Rudesheim (18-7) took the loss for Anderson, pitching the first inning.

Catawba will be making its second appearance in the NCAA regionals.  The Lady Indians previously made it in 2012.

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