Trojan Softball Splits Two Games - Advances to SAC ChampionshipApril 21, 2012
GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – The third seeded Anderson University softball team dropped a tough 1-0 decision to to-seeded and 21st-ranked Lenoir-Rhyne, but bounced back to earn a 2-0 victory over Carson-Newman in the Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Tournament Saturday afternoon at Red Edmonds Field.
Anderson (38-12) will face Lenoir-Rhyne (45-11) again Sunday at 1 p.m. for the conference tournament title and an automatic bid to the NCAA Division II Tournament.
Lenoir-Rhyne 1, Anderson 0
Lenoir-Rhyne’s Dawon Millwood pitched a two-hit shutout, while the Bears’ Haily Jarman drove in the game’s only run with a triple as the Bears defeated Anderson to advance to Sunday’s championship game.
The winners’ bracket final was an outstanding pitchers’ duel between Millwood and Trojans’ starter Amber Duncan.
Duncan limited the Bears to one hit and two walks through the first three innings, while Millwood retired the first 10 batters to start the game.
Both teams got runners aboard in the fourth inning. Anderson’s Rebecca Martin reached on a one-out single, while advancing to second on a throwing error. But she was stranded following a pair of fly outs.
In the bottom of the fourth, L-R’s Sarah Atkins and Brittany Coursen hit back-to-back one-out singles, but Duncan got out of the jam with a pair of strikeouts to end the inning.
In the bottom of the fifth, L-R’s Jody Mizelle reached on a bunt single and moved to second on a ground out. With two outs, Jarman tripled to center field to score Mizelle for a 1-0 lead.
In the top of the seventh, AU catcher Laura Jansky reached on an L-R fielding error, becoming just the fourth Trojan batter to get on base. On the game’s final play, Duncan struck out swinging, but the ball got away from Bears’ catcher Sarah Atkins. But despite first base being occupied, Duncan ran toward first, causing pinch runner Kelly McInne to start towards second and was picked off for the game’s final out.
Millwood improved to 31-6 on the year, allowing a walk with a pair of strikeouts. During this year’s tournament, Millwood has allowed only one run in her 19 innings in the circle. Duncan (22-9) went six innings, allowed seven hits, one run, three walks and recorded four strikeouts.
Anderson 2, Carson-Newman 0
Duncan tossed a three-hitter to improve to 23-9 this season, while Martin and Abby Child had RBI singles in the third inning to lift the Trojans past the fourth-seeded Eagles (34-22).
Duncan scattered three singles and walked a pair, but needed just 81 pitches to finish off her eighth shutout of the season. She faced her toughest test in the first inning, when Carson-Newman loaded the bases with one out. However, a popup and a line drive to right retired the side and kept the game scoreless.
Eagle starter Mary Shealy retired the first seven batters she faced before yielding a single to Bri Cason with one out in the top of the third. After a sacrifice bunt by Sieber moved Cason to second, Jessica Neidigh walked on four pitches to put runners at first and second.
Martin then grounded a single up the middle to bring home Cason and give the Trojans a 1-0 lead. Child then followed with a hard grounder up the middle that caromed into center field for a hit, allowing Neidigh to come around and score and extend the Anderson lead to 2-0.
Duncan received help from her defense in the fourth, as Neidigh snared a liner at second and threw to Child covering short to double off a Carson-Newman runner to end the inning. The Eagles would not advance a runner past first base beyond that point, with Duncan closing out the game by retiring the side in order in the seventh on two fly balls and a grounder.
Shealy allowed five hits and walked two and threw just 76 pitches in the game. At the plate, she singled and walked twice in three trips, with the other Eagle hits coming off the bats of Cassidy Skeen in the first and Bethany Davis in the fifth.
Anderson will be seeking its’ first-ever Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Softball Championship, while Lenoir-Rhyne is looking for its third straight title and sixth overall.