SALISBURY, N.C. — Carson-Newman got a bottom of the seventh leadoff homerun from Elayna Siebert, but the Eagles left the tying run at the plate to end the game in a 4-1 loss to Catawba in the opening round of the Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Tournament.
The loss moves Carson-Newman (30-17) into the losers’ bracket in the double elimination tournament and a 9 a.m. appointment Friday with eighth-seeded Lincoln Memorial.
Catawba (30-17) got the runs it needed in the second. Back-to-back one out singles followed by a Gina Gerone base on balls set the stage for Amanda Terry,
The centerfielder ripped a double to right center that cleared the bases and gave Catawba a 3-0 lead.
The game turned into a pitcher’s duel at that point with the Eagles’ starter Cassie Lyons retiring 15 of 16 batters and Catawba’s starter and SAC pitcher of the year Carley Tysinger sending 15 down in a row.
It wouldn’t be until the seventh when the offenses would get rolling again. Terry homered down the left field line to give Catawba an insurance run. Needing four runs to keep the game rolling in the bottom of the seventh, Carson-Newman got its inning off to a good start when a Siebert line drive home run to center field brought the Eagles within three. Then Bri Shoemake reached on a fielding error by the third baseman before Brittany Hefner struck out swinging and Sara Kelley grounded into a fielder’s choice. Down to its final out, Carson-Newman got a single to left from Caitlyn Lance to bring the tying run to the plate. However Bethany Davis struck out to end the game.