@CentreSoftball Beats BSC, Falls to Hendrix in SAA Tournament Action

@CentreSoftball Beats BSC, Falls to Hendrix in SAA Tournament Action

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (CentreColonels.com) – The Centre softball team entered Saturday knowing that one more loss would end their season as the prepared to face Birmingham Southern. The Colonels lived to fight for one more game with an historic 8-0 victory over BSC before losing 8-4 to the Hendrix Warriors in the following game.

Against the Panthers, the Colonels made their first rally in the top of the second with consecutive singles by senior Jessika Young (Leitchfield, Ky.) and freshman Sarah Aubuchon (Lebanon, Tenn.). A Panthers error allowed freshman Abigail Harper (Louisville, Ky.) to reach and load the bases with no outs. Birmingham Southern was able to record a pair of outs, but freshman Mary-Carter Downing (Lexington, Ky.) came through with a base hit to score Young and put Centre up 1-0.

In the next inning, Centre put runners on the corners after junior Ellen Stephens (Louisville, Ky.) was hit by a pitch and Young singled. A single from Aubuchon scored Stephens, and then senior Brittany Sears (Lexington, Ky.) connected on a base hit that brought Young across the plate. The Panthers made a pitching change and then in the next at-bat, Aubuchon scored after a BSC wild pitch and the Colonels had increased their lead to 4-0.

All the while, senior Elysse Petrie (Danville, Ky.), who shut out the Panthers two weeks ago for Centre's first victory over BSC since 2011, was once again masterful on the mound. Petrie held Birmingham Southern to two hits and two walks through the first five innings and pitched the Colonels out of a jam in the fifth after a pair of Centre errors.

Moving to the sixth, Centre loaded the bases with one out. Downing singled and then junior Lauren Richards (Danville, Ky.) reached on an error before freshman RileyAnne Sharpe (Huntsville Ala.) reached on catcher's interference. An RBI groundout from Stephens scored Downing. Jessika Young reached on another error and Richards scored to give the Colonels another unearned run.

After Young advanced to second on the second Panthers wild pitch of the game, Aubuchon smacked a double to clear the bases and the Colonels held an 8-0 lead with the ability to close the game in the bottom half of the inning. Petrie walked the leadoff hitter, but retired the next three batters to seal the shutout.

Aubuchon went 3-4 from the plate for the Colonels with three runs driven in. Downing and Young also finished with two hits.

The Colonels took advantage of five BSC errors to score four unearned runs in the contest.

Petrie pitched a complete game shutout, allowing only seven baserunners and two hits in six innings of work.

The victory for the Colonels over the Panthers was historic, as it marked the 24th win of the season, setting a new program record. The win also immediately propelled Centre into another elimination game, this time against the Hendrix Warriors.

Centre again took a quick lead against Hendrix in the second as Young doubled and Sears brought her home with a clutch base hit with two outs. In the third, sophomore Cassidy Cook (Louisville, Ky.) led off with a double, advanced on a wild pitch and a Richards walk loaded the bases with Sharpe coming to the plate. Sharpe advanced after an error that cleared the bases and Centre led 3-0. On the mound, junior Erika Brewer (Frenchburg, Ky.) had runners in scoring position in each of the first two innings but got out of both situations.

In the fourth, the Warriors finally got to Brewer with a solo home run from Karli Sewell. Hendrix didn't threaten again until the sixth, when the Warriors loaded the bases. One run crossed the plate on a Hendrix sac fly, and then Nikki Sanders gave the Warriors the lead with a three-run homer. Hendrix added an insurance run as they batted around in the inning for five runs, taking a 6-3 lead.

The Colonels got a run back in the bottom half of the inning as Cook singled to score Harper and keep the game within reach. Hendrix loaded the bases again in the seventh and Sydney Ozersky cracked a two-run double. Trailing 8-4, Centre got two runners on base, but the game ended on a double play fly ball to right field.

Centre ended its 2017 softball season with a record of 24-19 on the year, surpassing the 23-win 2008 Colonels squad for the winningest team in school history.