05/05/13 — Princeton finishes unbeaten against league opponents

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Princeton finishes unbeaten against league opponents

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 5, 2013 1:52 AM

Princeton achieved perfection.

Rosewood experienced deja vu.

The Bulldogs wrapped up an unbeaten Carolina 1-A Conference softball campaign for the first time in program history with an emphatic 7-1 triumph over their archrivals on an unseasonably cool Friday evening.

"(Tonight) was big ... a good feeling," Princeton head coach Terry Braswell said of the outright championship. "I'm glad the girls got the experience of what it's like to go undefeated in the conference. We always strive to do our best and the girls stepped up when they had to."

Princeton's defense wiggled out of bases-loaded jams in the second and sixth innings when the outcome remained in doubt. The Bulldogs held the Eagles to one hit in 10 at-bats with runners in scoring position and have allowed just one run in their last 22 innings.

Hayley Mercer drove in Rosewood's lone run on a third-inning single after Alicia Burns led off with a base hit and moved into scoring position on Callie Thornton's sacrifice bunt. The Eagles collected just five hits on the night, and couldn't capitalize on seven walks issued by Princeton right-handers Tori Paul and Haley Wood.

Rosewood stranded 11 runners on base.

"Not being disciplined and I think it all goes back to what we do in practice," Eagles head coach Shay Campbell said. "I think it's showing when it comes game time. We battled for a while, but tonight the big issue when we're not hitting, then we quit.

"We got lazy and let other people get in our head. You can't do that, not at this level when you're playing a big game like this right here."

The Bulldogs, who extended their winning streak to 14 games, plated their first run on a second-inning fielding error. Mercer's base knock knotted the game at 1-1 before Princeton (16-2 overall, 10-0 CC) pushed across six unanswered runs.

Logan Pace provided her lone hit, an RBI single, in the fourth inning.

Princeton tallied five seventh-inning runs on three hits, two errors and two wild pitches. Paul delivered the big blow, a two-RBI single that accounted for the game's final runs.

The Bulldogs finished with 10 hits on the night and exited with their seventh straight conference title in tow.

"It was stressful," Braswell said. "It seems like we're having a problem adjusting to that slow pitching (but) we finally brought it around in the end. They stepped up and did what they had to do."