Softball Opens Tournament Play With 4-1 Win Over Newberry


HARTSVILLE, S.C. -- Catawba opened its South Atlantic Conference Softball Tournament play with a 4-1 win over Newberry on Thursday afternoon at Byerly Park.  The second-seeded Catawba Indians improve to 35-13 and will next face sixth-seeded Queens on Friday at 10 am.  Queens upset Wingate 3-1 in nine innings to kick-off the tourney.  Newberry drops to 28-21 and will face Wingate in an elimination game on Friday morning.

Catawba took advantage of control issues by Newberry pitcher Maude McCourry to score three times without a hit over the first two innings.  Gina Gerone (Brooklyn, N.Y./Madison) collected the first hit for the Lady Indians in the third and Catawba won despite just three hits on the day.

Caroline Turner (Kenly, N.C./N. Johnston) and Kristen Stinnard (Concord, N.C./Cox Mill) walked to start the Catawba first.  Two wild pitches later, Turner crossed the plate with the first run.  A ground out by Gerone got Stinnard home for a 2-0 lead.  Two out walks to Holli Chandler (New London, N.C./N. Stanly) and Lynnsey Taylor (Hope Mills, N.C./Gray's Creek) and two more wild pitches upped the lead to 3-0 after two.

Gerone followed a walk to Katherine Shumaker (Blanch, N.C./Bartlett Yancy) with an infield single in the third.  After a fielder's choice got Gerone to third, she would score on yet another wild pitch. 

Newberry did not threaten much off Catawba hurler Carley Tysinger (Lexington, N.C./C. Davidson) over the first six innings, getting only two of six runners past first base.  The Wolves would get off the deck in the seventh to get the go-ahead run at the plate.

Two singles and two fielder's choices had a pair of runners on with two out for the Wolves and Morgan Sweeney broke up the shutout with a two-out single to center to cut the margin to 4-1.  Hailey Drawe walked on four pitches to load the bases for pinch-hitter Brianna Clontz.  Tysinger was able to strike out Clontz to end the game.

Tysinger improved to 28-8 on the year and set a new school record for wins in a season.  She scattered six hits with three walks and six strikeouts.  The Lady Indians had just three hits, but did walk five times and was hit by one pitch.

Sweeney and Natalie Willis each had two hits for Newberry.  McCourry (15-12) took the loss without giving up a hit.  She allowed three runs on four walks with a pair of wild pitches.

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