Emeterio sets career hits record as UNCG falls in SoCon tourney
BOONE, N.C. – Senior Alex Emeterio went 3-for-4 to set UNCG's career hits record, but third-seeded College of Charleston used a three-run fourth inning to grab a 6-3 win at the Southern Conference Softball Championship at Sywassink/Lloyd Family Stadium on Friday, eliminating the fourth-seeded Spartans.
UNCG finished its season at 22-34 overall. The Cougars improved to 34-22 and advance to face either Appalachian State or Elon.
Emeterio entered what would prove to be her final collegiate game tied with Karyn Thompson and Jennifer Bonilla for the most hits in school history with 227. The Murrieta, Calif., native wasted no time claiming the record as her own, lining the first pitch she saw in the top of the first inning into left field for a single. She would go on to add a double in the fifth inning and a single in the seventh, finishing her career with an even 230 hits.
With the game tied at 3 in the bottom of the fourth, College of Charleston's Ashton Jarrett and Kelsey Hodgson reached on consecutive singles to lead off the frame. An error on Mackenzie Maples' fielder's choice loaded the bases and Amanda Lonergan smoked a line drive double off of a diving Aubrey Baldwin's glove in center field to bring in two runs and knock UNCG starter Cory Mattson from the contest.
Erica Navarette induced a double play for the first two outs, as Kiah Ruffin caught Allison Pedigo's fly in shallow right field and fired home to nail Maples at the plate.
The Cougars would add one more run in the frame, however, as Lizzy Vaughn doubled to drive in Lonergan to make it 6-3.
UNCG couldn't get the timely hit it needed the rest of the way, stranding four runners over the final three innings. Emeterio hit a one-out double in the fifth and Eileen Horsmon was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second, but CofC reliever Hope Klicker struck out the next two batters to end the threat.
Dominique Madruga narrowly missed her second home run of the game in the sixth inning, hitting a double off the top of the wall in left center to lead off the frame. Klicker again worked out of trouble, getting the next three batters in order. Emeterio singled through the right side with one out in the seventh, but Klicker was again up to the challenge.
Maples gave CofC an early 2-0 lead with a monster home run in the bottom of the first, crushing the first pitch she saw out to right center and putting the ball on top of the football practice facility adjacent to the stadium.
UNCG answered with a two-run homer of its own in the top of the second inning to even the score. After Heather Robb drew a one-out walk, Madruga took CofC starter Stephanie Saylors out to center to make it a 2-2 game.
The Cougars reclaimed the lead with an unearned run in the bottom of the third inning. With the bases loaded and one out, Maples came in to score on a UNCG error. Mattson, a senior also making her final start, worked out of the jam without further damage.
Robb quickly tied the game back up in the top of the fourth inning, matching Maples' feat by putting a homer of her own on top of the football practice facility to make it 3-3. The homer, Robb's second of the tournament and second in as many days, pushed her season total to 11, a career high and good for a share of the team lead. It was also the 20th of her career, moving her into a tie for fifth in school history.
In addition to Emeterio's three hits, Madruga and Toni MacReynolds had two each for the Spartans. Jarrett was 3-for-3 for CofC and Lonergan and Vaughn had two hits each for CofC.
Klicker (16-9) picked up the win, throwing 3 2/3 innings of three-hit, scoreless ball, striking out five. Saylors allowed three runs on five hits in 3 1/3 innings of work. She struck out four and walked two.
Mattson (14-18) was charged with six runs (three earned) on nine hits and three walks in three-plus innings of work. Navarette finished the game, tossing the final three innings and allowing just one hit and two walks. She struck out three.
The Spartans committed three errors on the day that led to three unearned runs for the Cougars, who eliminated UNCG for the second straight year.
Coll. of Charleston 6, UNCG 3 (May 11, 2012 at Boone, N.C.)
UNCG................ 020 100 0 - 3 8 3 (22-34)
Coll. of Charleston. 201 300 X - 6 10 0 (34-22)
Pitchers: UNCG - Cory Mattson; Erica Navarette(4) and Katelyn Bedwell. Coll. of Charleston - Stephanie Saylors; Hope Klicker(4) and Mackenzie Maples.
Win-Hope Klicker(16-9) Loss-Cory Mattson(14-18) T-1:57 A-0
HR UNCG - Heather Robb (11); Dominique Madruga (2).
HR COFC - Mackenzie Maples (3).
Mattson faced 4 batters in the 4th.
- UNCG -