Tysinger Blanks Anderson as Softball Fights Back to Regional Championship Game


DAHLONEGA, Ga. -- Catawba stayed alive and advanced to Sunday’s NCAA II Southeast Regional 1 Softball Tournament Championship Game, defeating Anderson 4-0 in an elimination game on Saturday at Hill Stadium.  The Catawba Indians, seeded fourth, improve to 31-16 and will have to defeat top-seeded North Georgia twice on Sunday to win the regional.  Anderson, ranked 25th in NCAA II, ends its season at 40-15. 

After two scoreless innings, Caroline Turner (Kenly, N.C./N. Johnston HS) led off the top of the third with a home run to give Catawba the lead.  It was Turner’s ninth of the season which ties Gina Gerone (Brooklyn, N.Y./Madison HS) for most on the team this year.  It was also the 10th home run that Catawba has hit off Anderson over the past three meetings.

Catawba added two more runs before the third was over. Natalie Naturile (Thomasville, N.C./E. Davidson HS) followed the home run with a double and Taylor Adams (Smithfield, N.C./N. Johnston HS) singled.  Gerone doubled home Naturile, while pinch runner Ashley Wagoner (Roaring River, N.C./E. Wilkes HS) scored when Emily Huneycutt (Oakboro, N.C./W. Stanly HS) grounded back to the pitcher.

That was more than enough for Carley Tysinger (Lexington, N.C./C. Davidson HS), who was solid in the circle in matching Lindsay Ettinger’s 2006 record with her 27th win of the season.  The junior, now 27-10, allowed just three hits with a walk and four strikeouts.

Naturile added a fourth run with a RBI single in the fourth, knocking home Holli Chandler (New London, N.C./N. Stanly), who had doubled for the second time to lead off the frame.  Naturile finished the game with three hits.  Turner, Gerone and Chandler each had two hits.

Anderson managed just three singles off Tysinger.  Those came off the bats of Molly Child, Chelsea Jones and Courtney Czentnar.  Two of those came in the fourth, the only inning the Trojans put more than one runner on base, but Tysinger got the final two outs on a grounder and pop up then sat down the side in order in the fifth and sixth innings, finishing the game by retiring 11 of the final 12 batters she faced.

The shutout by Tysinger matched her previous school mark of 10 shutouts in a season that she accomplished as a freshman in 2013.  She is also two strikeouts short of matching her record of 324 in a season, which she also set in 2013.

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