Indians Sweep Carson-Newman for Outright SAC Lead


SALISBURY, N.C. -- The Catawba College Lady Indians claimed the top spot in the South Atlantic Conference with a doubleheader sweep over Carson-Newman University in softball action on Friday afternoon at Whitley Field. Catawba recorded a 2-1 win in the eighth inning before sealing the series with a 7-1 victory. The pair of wins lift the Lady Indians to 22-9 on the year and 6-0 in the SAC, while Carson-Newman drops to 18-12 overall and 4-2 in conference.

In the first game, the two teams entered into extra innings scoreless. With an automatic runner on second, a Catawba wild pitch put Donna Ryan on third. Later in the same at bat, a throwing error by Catawba’s pitcher, Carley Tysinger, allowed Ryan to score and put the Carson-Newman Eagles on top.

In the bottom half of the inning Catawba placed pinch runner, Leah Huggins on second. Morgan Brann led off the inning with a bunt single down the third base line to put Huggins on third. A Gina Gerone sacrifice fly to right field tied the game a one apiece. A Tysinger walk put runners at first and second. The Lady Indians again turned to its bench as Kat Shumaker stepped in to pinch hit. Shumaker proved clutch with a single through the left side of the infield to load the bases.

Catawba senior, Holli Chandler, placed a grounder just past the pitcher toward second.  The ground ball was fielded just before the second base bag by Elayna Siebert. Ashley Wagoner, who reentered the game to replace Shumaker, was able to safely slide under a Siebert tag. The hustle single credited to Chandler scored Savana Hollingsworth for the win.

Catawba’s offense wasted no time in the second game as they jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first inning. Caroline Turner opened the bottom of the first with a walk followed by a stolen base to move to second. Turner took third on a wild pitch before Delane Smith scored her on a sacrifice fly to center. Brann followed the at bat with a solo homer to right center for her sixth of the year.

Later in the third, Turner and Kristen Stinnard led off with a pair of bunt singles followed by a double steal to put both runners in scoring position. Again, Smith sacrificed on a fly ball to right center to advance both runners. Later in the inning with runners at first and third, Gerone powered a double to right center to score Stinnard from third to make the game 4-0.

A Lindsey Dean home run for Carson-Newman brought the game to 4-1, but Catawba’s Tysinger would shut down the Eagles over the remainder of the game.

Catawba scored two more in the fifth after Brann stole home and Shumaker drove in the second run. The Lady Indians would add one more in the sixth after a crazy play and errant throw scored Stinnard.

Tysinger claimed both wins on the mound of the Lady Indians to move to 15-4 on the season. The senior allowed one run in each game, totaling 15 innings of work. The senior tallied 22 strikeouts on the day moving her to 1,137 career strikeouts as she closes in on the top-15 in NCAA history. Tysinger also allowed just two hits in the first game and three in the second.

Allison Webster took the loss for the Eagles in the first game as Danielle Kranz threw in the second. Webster allowed two run, only one that was earned, as well as nine hits and four walks. Despite the nine hits, Webster struck out 10 in the game. Krans allowed six of the seven runs in the second game after giving up eight hits and six walks. Krans struck out just one batter in six innings of action.

Brann finished the day 4-for-6 from the plate, including a pair of walks in the second game. Stinnard was also 4-for-6 on the day. Shumaker finished the day a perfect 3-for-3 with a walk as well.

Catawba will travel to Coker next to continue South Atlantic Conference play. The doubleheader is scheduled for Wednesday, beginning at 1:30 p.m.

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