LMU wins SAC softball tournament
Published 5:50 pm Monday, May 8, 2023
The Lincoln Memorial softball team won the South Atlantic Conference Tournament Championship at Wingate on Thursday afternoon with 14-2 and 1-0 wins.
The No. 3 seed Lady Railsplitters (36-23) entered the day with a 1-0 deficit in the best-of-3 series after the No. 1 seed Bulldogs (44-14) won the opener of the championship series 5-2 on Wednesday afternoon, but the visiting offense exploded in Thursday’s early game before Lincoln Memorial rode a complete game shutout by starting pitcher Hayley Tamaro in the nightcap to clinch the crown.
The Lady Railsplitters will play see where they play in the NCAA Regional, which is scheduled to begin next Thursday, May 11. The bracket was revealed on Monday.
In the first game, Emma Frost (5.1 innings, 1 run, 5 strikeouts) and Sterre den Duijn (5-for-5, 3 HRs, triple, 4 RBI, 4 runs scored) had outstanding performances to lead the Railsplitters to an easy win that knotted the series at 1-1 and forced the tiebreaking game.
The day’s scoring was started by den Duijn’s solo homer in the Top of the first inning before Madison Henry hit an RBI single to make the score 2-0 after the 2nd frame. McKenzie Henry hit an RBI single in the 3rd, while Gracie Palmer followed that up with a 2-run knock of her own to extend the advantage to 5-0.
But den Duijn wasn’t done, as she nailed a 2-run blast in the 4th inning to put Lincoln Memorial up 7-0. Kelsie Tuggle’s 2-run homer and another solo shot by den Duijn highlighted a 7-run 7th that provided more separation and served as the final scoring of the day.
Palmer, Tuggle, Reese Vivrette and Anna Kate Reichter produced a pair of RBIs each in the game, while Vivrette tallied 3 hits.
Frost earned the win to improve to 20-10 on the year, while Wingate’s Danielle Kirchhofer (1-1) suffered the loss allowing 2 hits and a run in the 1st inning.
In the second game, Tamaro forced consistent soft contact to pitch the masterful shutout, as Katy Pozzuto’s RBI single to center to score Kelsie Tuggle in the 1st was all the Lady Railsplitters would need to win the game and clinch the tournament title.
Vivrette came through with 2 more hits to finish the day 5-for-8 at the plate, and Tamaro ended the day throwing a combined 8.2 innings and allowing only 1 run during the doubleheader.
Tamaro (14-11) scattered 5 hits and 2 walks while striking out 2 in the Game 2 shutout. Wingate’s Raechel Cutcher (13-7) surrendered the 1 run on 4 hits in 6.0 innings to be served the loss.