GREENSBORO, NC – Vanessa Oakes tossed a one-hitter and what appeared to be a two-run home run in the top of the seventh inning resulted in the final out of the game as No. 5 Western Carolina escaped with a 1-0 win over No. 8 UNC Greensboro in the Southern Conference Softball Championship, Thursday at the UNCG Softball Stadium.
The Catamounts (28-32) move on in the winner’s bracket and will play No. 7 Furman at 5 pm Friday. The Spartans (28-36) will play No. 2 College of Charleston in the elimination bracket at noon Friday.
With two out and one on in the top of the seventh inning, Brittany Ausley belted what appeared to be a two-run home run over the left field fence. However, the first runner was called out for not touching home plate for the third out of the inning, giving Ausley a triple and Western Carolina the improbable victory.
Ausley had two hits on the day.
Savannah Filley had the lone RBI of the game for Western Carolina, while Nikki Bost provided the team’s lone hit.
Mendy McKenzie picked up the win for Western Carolina after giving up just three hits in seven innings of work. She moves to (13-18) on the season. Oakes took the loss for UNCG despite giving up one run on just one hit in six innings, moving her to 13-12 on the season.
Both teams went scoreless and Western Carolina went hitless up until the bottom of the fourth inning. With runners on second and third and no outs, Filley hit a sacrifice fly to score the runner at third and gave WCU a 1-0 lead.
Neither team put up runs in the next two innings, bringing up UNC Greensboro’s final at bat.
UNCG................ 000 000 0 - 0 4 0
Western Carolina.... 000 100 X - 1 1 0
LOB - UNCG 6; W. Carolina 2. 2B - Bonilla. 3B - Ausley. SH -
Audley. SF - Filley.
Win - McKenzie (13-18). Loss - Oakes (13-12). Save - None. Pitches/strikes: Oakes 77/54; McKenzie 100/66. Umpires - HP: Sidney Ferguson 1B: Raymond MacDowell 3B: Frank Holcomb Start: 5:15 pm Time: 1:35 Attendance:245
Game Five: Cougars Use Walk-Off Home Run in the 11th to Eliminate Mountaineers
GREENSBORO, NC – Southern Conference Player of the Year Jennifer Golden belted a two-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the 11th inning as No. 2 College of Charleston eliminated No. 3 Appalachian from the SoCon Softball Championships with a 4-2 victory at the UNCG Softball Stadium on Thursday.
The Cougars improved to 34-25 with the win, while the Mountaineers’ season ended at 20-38. CofC will move on to face the loser of the game between No. 5 Western Carolina and No. 8 UNCG on Friday.
Terri Mesko picked up the win for CofC as she gave up two runs on five hits in 11 innings, while striking out 10 Mountaineers. Appalachian’s Kayla Richardson gave up four runs on eight hits and struck out two for the loss. Richardson pitched nine innings of scoreless ball before giving up four runs in the 11th.
Kristie Shifflett and Golden each had two RBI for CofC as Shifflett went 2-for-5 from the plate with a run scored. Golden’s two RBI on her lone hit, a homerun, proved to be the difference maker in the win.
Brittany Gaston led the Appalachian offense with two hits, including a double. Diana Cook and Kristyn Hurt provided ASU’s two RBI, as Hurt had the other double for the Mountaineers.
Neither team could put a hit on the board in the first two innings, heading into the third scoreless.
The Mountaineers threatened in the top of the third inning with a runner on third with two outs, but couldn’t convert the run. In the bottom of the inning the Cougars got their first base runner of the game on an error by the ASU infield with no outs. A fielder’s choice advanced the runner to third before the first hit of the game, a bunt down the first base line by Kolby Schooley, put runners on the corners with one out.
Richardson recorded her first strikeout of the game with Cabrera at the plate for two outs in the inning. Appalachian first baseman Dianna Cook scooped up a throw from the shortstop to end the CofC scoring threat and inning.
ASU’s Kasey Motsinger broke up Mesko’s no-hitter with a blistering line drive to the shortstop in the top of the fourth. Appalachian couldn’t take advantage of the base runner, keeping the game scoreless heading into the bottom of the fourth.
Brittany Gaston laid down the team’s second hit of the game in the top of the sixth inning with a blooper to shallow left field. ASU couldn’t convert, and neither team could put a run on the board as they headed to the seventh inning scoreless.
College of Charleston held Appalachian in the top of the seventh. With one out and a runner on first base in the bottom of the seventh, Brittany Small popped up a bunt for a single, advancing the runner to second. On the next play, Brittany Gaston fielded a ground ball to second, tagging the runner and getting the batter out at first for an inning-ending double-play.
Schooley led off the bottom of the eighth with a single to left field, but the next three batters went down in order to end the inning for the College of Charleston as the two teams headed to the ninth inning still scoreless.
The Mountaineers went down in order in the top of the ninth. With two out and a runner on third, Danielle Peters saved the inning with a diving catch of Golden’s foul fly in left field, as the two teams headed to the 10th inning.
With the international tiebreaker rule in place, neither team could take advantage of the extra runner at second base as the Mountaineers and Cougars headed to the 11th inning still knotted at zero.
ASU started the inning with Lindsay Glover on second base. Glover stole second, but couldn’t advance on a bunt laid down by Brittany Gaston. The next batter, Cook, singled to center field to score Glover from third and give ASU a 1-0 lead in the 11th with one out. Motsinger advanced the pinch runner, Robyn Bronson, with a groundout to second, giving ASU a runner in scoring position with two outs, bringing Hurt to the plate. Hurt blasted a double off the wall in left center to score Bronson and give ASU a 2-0 advantage.
The Cougars were able to get out of the inning down just two runs. The first batter, Amber Shifflett converted a bunt down the right side to reach base and advanced the runner. The next batter, Kristie Shifflett doubled to right field to score both runners and tie the game at two, bringing SoCon Player of the Year, Golden to the plate. Golden belted a two-run homer deep to left center to give CofC the 4-2 victory.
Game Six: No. 4 Eagles Oust No. 1 Lady Mocs From Tourney with 9-4 Victory
GREENSBORO, NC – For the second straight season, the No. 1 seed has been eliminated after dropping two straight games as No. 1 Chattanooga fell to No. 4 Georgia Southern, 9-4, Thursday in the Southern Conference Softball Championships at the UNCG Softball Stadium.
Georgia Southern (25-31) moves on to face the loser of the game between Furman and Elon, while Chattanooga, the regular-season champion, ends its season at 35-31. The early exit was the first for Chattanooga since it left the tournament after two straight losses in 1995.
Melissa Laliberte picked up the win for GSU as she allowed four runs on eight hits and struck out four batters in 6.1 innings. The loss went to SoCon Pitcher and Freshman of the Year, Brooke Loudermilk, who gave up three runs on four hits in an inning of work. Ashley Frizzell pitched six innings for the Lady Mocs, giving up six runs on eight hits.
Jenny Side had a game-high three RBI as she went 2-for-3 at the plate with a double and home run. Maria Laurato and Samantha Russo added two RBI apiece as each went 2-for-4 on the day.
Chattanooga’s offense was led by Tia Blosser and Tara Tembey with two RBI apiece, each with a homerun.
Both teams went into the second inning scoreless. Side led off the top of the second inning with her eighth home run of the season, just out of the reach of the centerfielder. Robyne Siliga followed with a double, followed by a double by Katie Smith to score the runner and give GSU a 2-0 lead with no outs in the inning. After another Eagle hit to put runners on first and third, Frizzell replaced Loudermilk at the mound for UTC. Frizzell struck out the first batter she faced before GSU added one more run for a 3-0 lead. The next two batters grounded out to end the inning.
With two outs in the bottom of the second, Tara Tembey scorched a triple to the right field corner to put a runner in scoring position for the Lady Mocs. Smith fielded a ball off Laliberte’s glove to end the inning.
The third inning went scoreless. With two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning, Laurato belted a two-run homer to centerfield, her second of the season, to extend the GSU lead to 5-0 heading into the bottom of the fourth.
The score remained 5-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning. With one out, Tembey hit a blistering shot to right center field for her seventh homerun of the season to cut the lead to three at 5-2. Laliberte got out of the inning as she struck out the final batter to head into the top of the seventh.
Capped by Side’s second and third RBI of the game, a double to center field, the Eagles added four runs on four hits and a UTC error to extend their leady to seven runs at 9-2 heading into the Lady Mocs’ final at bat.
Facing elimination with one out and one on in the bottom of the seventh, Blosser belted her first homerun of the season to cut the lead to five runs at 9-4. Logan Free entered the game to replace Laliberte on the mound. Free retired the final two batters in order to seal the 9-4 win and upset for Georgia Southern.
Game Seven: No. 7 Furman Defeats No. 6 Elon, 7-1
GREENSBORO, NC – Blake Murray allowed just one run on four hits on the mound and blasted her first career homerun as No. 7 Furman defeated No. 6 Elon, 7-1, Thursday at the Southern Conference Softball Championships at the UNCG Softball Stadium.
Furman (19-33-1) moves on with the win to play the winner of No. 8 UNC Greensboro and No. 5 Western Carolina. Elon (28-31) drops to the elimination bracket and will take on No. 4 Georgia Southern on Friday.
Murray got the win for Furman, adding five strikeouts in a complete seven innings. Carol Lilley took the loss for Elon after giving up seven runs on 11 hits in 5.1 innings pitched. She struck out three batters.
Murray led the offense with three RBI on the Paladins’ lone homerun. Stephanie Cushing and Megan Jaudon each added two RBI as Jaudon went 2-for-3 at the plate. Ashlee Crewe had the lone RBI for Elon on a solo homerun, her second of the season.
After two and a half scoreless innings, Furman came to bat in the bottom of the third. Lynn Parmer singled to open the inning. After a fly-out by the Paladins, back-to-back singles by Amber Kiser and Abby Robertson to load the bases with one out. Singles by Cushing and Jaudon in the next two Paladin at bats scored three runs as Furman took at 3-0 lead heading to the fourth inning.
Elon got its first run of the game on the board in the to of the fourth inning as Crewe belted her second homerun of the season, a solo shot to cut the Furman lead to two runs at 3-1.
The Paladins added to their runs in the bottom of the fifth as Jaudon recorded her second RBI of the game with a bunt to score Kiser with one out. The Phoenix got out of the inning with a double play on a pop fly. The two teams headed to the sixth inning with Furman leading 4-1.
Furman held Elon scoreless in the top of the sixth inning. With two runners on the bags and one out, Blake Murray blasted her first career homerun, a three-run shot to give the Paladins a 7-1 lead. Furman held Elon in the top of the seventh inning for a 7-1 victory.
- UNCG -