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Thursday's softball roundup
Courtesy: Southern Conference
Release: 05/09/2019
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No. 2 Samford eliminates No. 6 Furman

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – A six-run first inning proved to be the difference as No. 3 seed Samford rolled past No. 6 Furman 7-0 to stay alive in the 2019 SoCon Softball Championship at Frost Stadium on Thursday. The Bulldogs (23-30) will face either No. 1 UNCG or No. 5 ETSU at approximately 2 p.m.

Samford’s bats were hot to start the game as the Bulldogs blasted five hits and scored six runs in the bottom of the first. Maddie Dorsett, the Bulldogs’ leadoff batter, hit a single and then advanced to second on a sac bunt by Ryan Brzozoski before Whitney Hinton, a second-team all-conference selection, blasted her program-record15th home run of the season to give Samford a 2-0 lead.

The next batter in the lineup, catcher Kathryn Jackson, answered with a solo shot over the left field fence and pushed the lead to three. Then, Madison Couch singled, Kelsey Royalty walked and Timberlynn Shurbutt singled to left field before Hannah Trombley drew a bases-loaded walk. Royalty scored as Ashlyn Barnes hit a dribbler to pitcher Emily DeMonte and was safe at first after DeMonte made a throwing error attempting to get the out at the plate. Dorsett grounded into a fielder’s choice to the pitcher, but DeMonte went to first to get out No. 2 and Shurbutt scored from third.

Samford threatened again in the bottom of the second with runners on first and second and one out, but Morgan Smith, who entered in relief of DeMonte, struck out Royalty and Shurbutt to get out of the jam.

Samford tacked on another run in the bottom of the fifth. Shurbutt singled to left center and Barnes singled to right field before Shurbutt came around to score on a single up the middle by Brzozoski.

Samford tallied 11 hits and held Furman to just three, two off the bat of shortstop Casey Bigham. Senior Annalyn Yantis earned the complete-game victory for Samford. Jackson (2-for-3), Barnes (2-for-3) and Shurbutt (2-for-4) led the Bulldogs offensively.

Scoring Summary

Bottom 1st – Samford 2, Furman 0: Maddie Dorsett reached on a single and advanced on a sac bunt by Ryan Brzozski before Whitney Hinton blasted a two-run shot over the left field fence.
                       Samford 3, Furman 0: Kathryn Jackson, the next batter, smacked a solo shot over the left field fence.
                       Samford 4, Furman 0: Madison Couch singled, Kelsey Royalty walked and Timberlyn Shurbutt singled to left field before Hannah Trombley drew a bases-loaded walk.
                       Samford 5, Furman 0: Royalty scored as Ashlyn Barnes hit a dribbler to the pitcher and was safe at first after Demonte made a throwing error attempting to get the out at the plate.
                       Samford 6, Furman 0: Dorsett grounded into a fielder’s choice to the pitcher, but DeMonte went to first to get out No. 2 and Shurbutt scored from third.

Bottom 5 – Samford 7, Furman 0: Shurbutt singled to left center and Barnes singled to right field before Shurbutt came around to score on a single up the middle by Brzozoski.

Top-seed UNCG cruises to win over No. 5 ETSU

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – No. 1 seed UNCG scored early and often, amassing nine runs in the first three innings, and cruised to a 9-1 win in five innings over No. 5 ETSU on Thursday in the 2019 SoCon Softball Championship at Frost Stadium. The Spartans (31-21) will face either No. 3 Chattanooga or No. 7 Western Carolina at 12:30 p.m. on Friday.  

ETSU scored first as Julia Fritz, a first-team all-conference selection, walked, advanced to second on a wild pitch and came around to score when Nikki Grupp reached on an error in the top half of the first. UNCG tied it up in the bottom half as Stephanie Bryden reached on a fielder’s choice, advanced to second when Gabi Howard walked and scored on a Makenna Matthijs singled to left.

UNCG took its first lead of the contest in the bottom of the second inning. The Spartans’ Melanie Darges singled to shortstop and Monica Pepe singled down the left field line before a sac bunt and a single by Marisa Sholtes scored the pair.

The UNCG offense exploded for six runs in the bottom of the third. Katie Stettler was hit by a pitch and Kamryn Graves walked before Kayleigh Willis, who came in to pinch hit for Pepe, knocked a single to center field that scored Stettler. Delaney Cumbie kept it going, singling to left field and scoring Graves. A three-run home run by Sholtes brought in Cumbie and Pepe. Bryden stepped to the plate next and knocked a solo shot to left field to extend the lead to 9-1.

UNCG had nine hits and held ETSU to just one. Sholtes, a second-team all-conference first baseman, led the Spartans with five RBIs, going 2-for-3 at the plate, while Cumbie, a first-team all-conference pick, was 2-for-2.

Bryden, a first-team all-conference performer, went the entire five innings to earn the win.

Scoring Summary

Top 1st – ETSU 1, UNCG 0: Julia Fritz walked, advanced to second on a wild pitch and came around to score when Nikki Grupp reached on an error.

Bottom 1st – ETSU 1, UNCG 1: Stephanie Bryden reached on a fielder’s choice, advanced to second when Gabi Howard walked and Makenna Matthijs singled to left, driving in Bryden.
Bottom 2nd – UNCG 3, ETSU 1: Melanie Darges singled to shortstop and Monica Pepe singled down the left field line before a sac bunt and a single by Marisa Sholtes scored the pair.
Bottom 3rd – UNCG 4, ETSU 1: Katie Stettler was hit by a pitch and Kamryn Graves walked before Kayleigh Willis, who came in to pinch hit for Pepe, knocked a single to center field that scored Stettler.

                    UNCG 5, ETSU 1: Delaney Cumbie singled to left field and Graves scored.
                    UNCG 8, ETSU 1: A three-run home run by Sholtes brought in Cumbie and Pepe.
                    UNCG 9, ETSU 1: Bryden knocked a solo shot to left field.

No. 3 Chattanooga escapes No. 7 Western Carolina

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – No. 3 seed Chattanooga scored two runs in the bottom of the second inning and it proved to be enough as the Mocs held on for a 2-1 win over No. 7 seed Western Carolina on Thursday afternoon in the 2019 SoCon Softball Championship at Frost Stadium. The Mocs (35-14) will face top-seed UNCG at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, while Western Carolina (21-31) will take on No. 4 Mercer later this evening in a must-win contest.

 

In the bottom of the second, Amanda Beltran drew a walk and advanced to second on a single by Katie Corum. Devan Brown followed with a single, moving both runners up a base. With two outs, the SoCon Freshman of the Year, Emily Coltharp, singled to left and drove in Beltran and Corum.

 

Western Carolina answered with a run in the top of the third off a solo home run by Madison Armstrong. Shaina Reed followed with a double to left center but back-to-back foul-outs ended the threat.

 

The Catamounts finished with six hits to Chattanooga’s five.

 

Coltharp led Chattanooga, going 2-for-2 and knocking in both runs. Armstrong was 2-for-4 to lead the Catamounts.

 

Celie Hudson, the SoCon Pitcher of the Year, went the distance in the win.

 

Scoring Summary

Bottom 2nd – Chattanooga 2, Western Carolina 0: Amanda Beltran walked, Katie Corum singled and Devan Brown singled to advance them before Emily Coltharp knocked in the pair on an RBI single.

Top 3rd – Chattanooga 2, Western Carolina 1: Madison Armstrong hit a solo home run to left center.

 

No. 5 ETSU Prevails in Extras over No. 2 Samford  

 

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – The No. 5 seed ETSU Bucs rallied back from a morning loss and prevailed in eight innings against No. 2 Samford in the Thursday nightcap at the 2019 SoCon Softball Championship. ETSU (22-26-2) advances to play the winner of No. 4 Mercer and No. 7 Western Carolina, who meet Friday at 9 a.m., while Samford concludes its season at 23-31. 

ETSU threatened in the top of the second, but with two on base, the Bulldogs induced a ground ball and escaped without any damage done. Samford began the bottom half of the third with a hit by Merritt Cahoon. The SoCon all-freshman pick advanced to second on a sac bunt by Timberlyn Shurbutt and then to third on a single by Ashlyn Barnes. Maddie Dorsett laid down a beautiful suicide squeeze bunt and Cahoon came in to score to put Samford ahead 1-0. The Bulldogs had bases loaded with just one out later in the inning, but ETSU pitcher Taylor Boling induced back-to-back popups to get out of the jam.  

ETSU senior Taylor Wright took the second pitch deep to dead center field in the top of the fourth inning to even the score.

In the top of the sixth, Malloree Schurr sent a ball to the warning track with Nikki Grupp on second base, but Samford’s Kelsey Royalty snagged the ball in left center field and preserved the 1-1 tie. The Bulldogs also threatened in the bottom half as Royalty singled, stole second, and advanced to third on an error, but Timberlyn Shurbutt grounded out to end the inning.

The ETSU half of the inning started off with a Vanessa Elliot groundout, but Jordan Durbin walked and advanced to second as Lauren Lee grounded out. Durbin moved to third on a single up the middle by Kelly Warren and scored on a timely single by SoCon all-freshman performer Julia Fritz.

Samford came to the plate looking to even the score and avoid elimination. After a strikeout by Barnes, Dorsett singled to third base. She was tagged out at second as Ryan Brzozoski reached on a fielder’s choice. Whitney Hinton singled to left field, moving Brzozoski to second. The sophomore came around to score as the next batter, catcher Kathryn Jackson, singled to second base and kept the Bulldogs alive in the contest.

With one out in the top of the eighth, Kylie Toler singled to center field and Anissa Avila entered as a pitch runner. Malloree Schurr singled to second to advance Avila and each moved up a base on a wild pitch. Elliott drew a walk to load the bases. After a strikeout by Tiffany Laughren for the second out of the inning, Lauren Lee drew a 3-2 walk to score Avila. Warren singled to second and brought home Schurr and Elliott.

Scoring Summary

Bottom 3rd – Samford 1, ETSU 0: Merritt Cahoon singled and moved to second on a sac bunt by Timberlyn and advanced to third on a single by Ashlyn Barnes. Cahoon scored on a suicide squeeze by Maddie Dorsett.
Top 4th – Samford 1, ETSU 1: Taylor Wright hit a solo home run to straight away center field.
Top 7th – ETSU 2, Samford 1: Jordan Durbin walked, advanced to second on a putout and moved to third on a single by Kelly Warren. Julia Fritz singled up the middle to score Durbin from third.
Bottom 7th – ETSU 2, Samford 2: Ryan Brzozoski reached on a fielder’s choice. Whitney Hinton singled to left field, moving Brzozoski to second and the sophomore came around to score as the next batter, Kathryn Jackson, singled to second base.
Top 8 – ETSU 5, Samford 2: Kylie Toler singled to center field and Anissa Avila entered as a pinch runner. Malloree Schurr singled to second to advance Avila and each moved up a base on a wild pitch. Elliott drew a walk to load the bases. After a strikeout by Tiffany Laughren for the second out of the inning, Lauren Lee drew a 3-2 walk to score Avila. Warren singled to second and brought home Schurr and Elliott.

            

-www.SoConSports.com-

 

 

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