Gerone's Two Homers Help Softball to First NCAA Win


DAHLONEGA, Ga. -- Catawba junior Gina Gerone (Brooklyn, N.Y./Madison HS) hit a pair of home runs to lead the Catawba Indians to a 13-4 win over Anderson in the opening game of the NCAA II Southeast Regional 1 Softball Tournament on Friday at Hill Stadium.  The win marked the first NCAA post-season win for the fourth-seeded Lady Indians, who improve to 30-15. 

Catawba advances in the winner’s bracket and will face either top-seeded North Georgia or eighth-seeded Limestone on Saturday at noon.  Anderson, the fifth seed, falls to 39-15 and will face an elimination game on Saturday at 2:30 pm.

Catawba had seen an early 5-0 lead dwindle to 5-4 entering the bottom of the fifth when Gerone struck for her first home run.  The two-run home run followed a two-out hit by Taylor Adams (Smithfield, N.C./N. Johnston HS) and put the Lady Indians up 7-4.

The Lady Indians struck for six runs in the sixth to end the game.  Gerone’s three-run homer ened it and capped her five-RBI effort.  In her last two games, Gerone has hit five home runs and accounted for 10 RBI.

Catawba took the lead in the second on a solo home run by Katherine Shumaker (Blanch, N.C./Bartlett Yancy HS).  The teams then endured about a three-hour weather delay before resuming action in the top of the third.  In the bottom of the third, Caroline Turner (Kenly, N.C./N. Johnston HS) doubled the Catawba lead with a two-out homer.  After a walk and a single, an error led to two more runs before Shumaker capped the frame with a RBI single and a 5-0 lead.

Anderson battled back into the game.  Rebecca Martin doubled home a run with two outs in the fourth with the first hit off Catawba pitcher Carley Tysinger (Lexington, N.C./C. Davidson HS).  The Trojans struck again with two outs in the fifth.  Chelsea Jones singled home one run, while two more runs scored on errors to cut the margin to 5-4.  Gerone swung the momentum back to Catawba with her home run in the bottom half of the frame.

Adams picked up three of Catawba’s 13 hits on the night.  Shumaker had two RBI and along with  Kristen Stinnard (Concord, N.C/Cox Mill HS), joined Gerone with two hits.  Tysinger improved to 26-9 with the complete game.  She allowed four runs (two earned) off four hits with three walks and six strikeouts.

Jones (14-6) took the loss for Anderson as she pitched into the third.  She allowed three runs (two earned) on three hits with a pair of strikeouts.  Lauren Rudesheim finished the final two and two-thirds innings.

Catawba is making just its second regional appearance and did not win in a game in its first appearance in 2012.  The Lady Indians lost 2-0 to 12th-ranked Lenoir-Rhyne and 1-0 to host and ninth-ranked Armstrong in those two games.

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