04/17/11 — Trojans' softball eliminated from tournament

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Trojans' softball eliminated from tournament

By MOC Sports Information
Published in Sports on April 17, 2011 1:51 AM

MOC Sports Information

HARTSVILLE, S.C. -- Mount Olive College was eliminated from the Conference Carolinas Tournament on Saturday after giving up a walk-off hit for the second straight game, this time a three-run homer by Lees-McRae's Paige Coleman with one out in the bottom of the seventh.

The loss came on the heels of a 5-4 defeat against Erskine on Friday in which Mount Olive led right up to the final strike before the Fleet produced a two-run single to down the Trojans. The two painful losses bumped Mount Olive from the tournament and ended its season with a 23-27 record.

Mount Olive's three-time all-conference senior shortstop, Kelly Minshew, closed out her stellar career by being named to the all-tournament team.

Five different players had one hit each for Mount Olive.

With the game scoreless in the third, Lees-McRae (24-26) loaded the bases with no one out against Mount Olive starter Sarah Saunders on an error and a pair of singles. But Saunders did a terrific job of pitching to keep the Bobcats off the scoreboard, striking out the heart of the LMC order, the 3-4-5 hitters.

The Trojans rewarded her with a lead in the top of the fourth. Katie Moore, who hit .500 in the tournament, reached on a fielder's choice and moved to second on a passed ball. Kalie Smith, who had pinch-run in the second inning, stayed in to hit in the fourth and delivered an RBI single to right-center, scoring Moore with the game's first run.

Mount Olive added to its lead in the sixth inning. Aubrey Reinhard led off the frame with a single to left, moved to second on a single up the middle by Moore, and scored on a single to right by Alyssa Bradshaw, who matched Moore with a team-high five RBI in the tournament.

The Trojans tacked on a third run in the seventh when Minshew reached on an error to lead off the inning and eventually scored on a wild pitch. Mount Olive had a chance to score a fourth run in the inning when the Bobcats' shortstop made an error on a Reinhard grounder with Kennedy at second. But Kennedy got caught between third and home when the shortstop retrieved the ball, and was eventually thrown out at home to end the inning.

The No. 9 hitter in the order for Lees-McRae, Meagan Knowles, led off the inning with a single to left, moved to third on a double by Kierstie Moon, and scored on a groundout to second by Karli Robb.

The batter at the plate representing the tying run was Lindsey Huntsinger, the leading home-run hitter in the league and one of the hottest bats in the tournament. Mount Olive chose to intentionally walk Huntsinger and pitch to Coleman instead, but Coleman made them pay by ripping the first pitch from Saunders over the fence in left-center, giving the Bobcats the win.

and the Trojans another dose of heartache.