Sunday, May 1, 2011

Piedmont Claims 2011 GSAC Championship

Tournament MVP Emily Cheek blasted a pair of home runs in the clinching game as top-seeded Piedmont College completed an impressive run to the 2011 Great South Athletic Conference title by defeating Huntingdon College twice on Championship Sunday. Wesleyan College hosted the event at the Mathews Athletic Complex.

[ Box Score ]
The Lions (27-13) rallied back from a day one loss that forced them into the losers bracket by winning three games on Saturday before twice toppling the second-seeded Hawks on Sunday. Piedmont won its first GSAC softball title since 2006 and fourth overall, the most in conference history.

In the title game, Cheek blasted a pair of home runs with the second coming in the top of the sixth inning to spot Piedmont a 6-1 advantage. Huntingdon rallied with three runs in its half of the inning. Jessica Sharker's two-run single cleared the bases and saw Sharker advance to third base during the play with only one out. However, Megan McClain snared Angela Barkman's line drive and doubled Sharker off third base to end the threat. After a scoreless top of the seventh inning, reliever Brittney Head retired the Hawks in order with McClain making a diving catch to clinch the championship.

Piedmont will represent the GSAC in the upcoming NCAA Tournament.

Piedmont Forces If Necessary Game Versus Huntingdon

A 5-1 Piedmont victory at Noon forced the if necessary game at the 2011 Great South Athletic Conference softball championship.

[ Box Score ]

No. 2 Huntingon scored the first run of the game after Aleah Payne doubled and later scored on a Piedmont throwing error. The Hawks (26-15) maintained the one-run lead until the bottom of the fifth inning when the Lions (26-13) offense awoke.

Five singles plated three runs for Piedmont. Megan Kesler and Amy Thompson would drive in two more insurance runs int he sixth inning to seal the victory.

Brittany Head (13-5) limited Huntingdon to just three hits while fanning eight batters to earn the victory. Bree Giordano (12-4) took the loss.

Huntingdon and Piedmont face off again at 2:30pm with the title on the line.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Piedmont Advances to Face Huntingdon on Championship Sunday

B.J. Cofer drew a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the seventh inning to propel top-seeded Piedmont College past No. 4 LaGrange College 5-4 to secure a spot in the Championship game at the Great South Athletic Conference Softball Championship.

[ Box Score ]

The Lions (25-13) scored the first four runs of the game including three in the first inning. The Panthers (22-19) rallied with single runs in the third through sixth innings to knot the game. In the decisive seventh inning a pair of singles sandwiched a walk to load the bases for Cofer. The designated player patiently waited for her pitch but it never came as the free pass forced across Megan McClain with the winning run.

Brittany Head (12-5) earned the win, scattering 11 hits while going the distance. Kayla Folds (6-7) took the loss.

Piedmont will face No. 2 Huntingdon College at Noon on Sunday. The Lions will have to win twice to secure the GSAC Championship while the Hawks need just one win.

Piedmont Holds On to Eliminate Maryville

Top-seeded Piedmont College continued to battle its way out of the losers bracket by holding on to eliminate No. 3 Maryville College 2-1 at the Great South Athletic Conference Softball Championship.

[ Box Score ]

Both teams missed opportunities to score runs throughout the games as each pitching staff worked their way out of jams. The two teams combined to leave 19 runners on base.

The bottom of the seventh inning epitomized the entire game. The Scots (14-20) loaded the bases with just one out forcing Piedmont head coach Terry Martin to call in Brittany Head to put out the fire. The freshman standout did just that forcing a ground ball out at the plate before fanning the final batter of the game to earn her first career save.

B.J. Cofer (11-8) earned the win while Sarah Reeder (4-8) took the loss.  Cofer also collected a team-best two hits for the Lions (24-14).

Piedmont advanced to face LaGrange College with a berth on Championship Sunday on the line.

No. 2 Huntingdon Moves Within One Win of GSAC Title

Second-seeded Huntingdon College moved within one victory of the conference title after defeating LaGrange College 4-3 in a matchup of the final undefeated teams at the GSAC Championship.

[ Box Score ]

No. 4 LaGrange, fresh off last night's upset of the tournament's top seed, continued its hot play with a pair of runs in the first inning. The Panthers (22-18) utilized a Megan Wing single to right combined with an error to grab the early lead.

The Hawks (26-14) answered in their half of the inning as Holly Ostrander pounded a two-run home run to tie the game. Back-to-back doubles from Brittney Novickis and Jessica Sharker each drove in one run to push the Huntingdon lead out to 4-2 following the bottom of the third inning.

Katie Hein's sacrifice fly scored Katie Ison in the fifth inning to help LaGrange cut the lead in half. However, Huntingdon's Melissa McClure retired the final seven batters she faced to secure the victory.
McClure improved to 14-9 with the victory while LaGrange starter Kristen Woodard's record fell to 5-5 in the loss.

Huntingdon needs just one win to capture its fourth GSAC title and first since 2006. LaGrange falls to the losers bracket and will play the winner of the Piedmont/Maryville game for a spot on Championship Sunday.

Maryville Survives Agnes Scott Rally to Advance

Maryville College withstood a furious Agnes Scott College rally in the top of the seventh inning to advance at the 2011 GSAC Softball Championship with a 6-5 victory.

[ Box Score ]

The Scots (14-19) seemed to take control of the game in the bottom of the fifth, scoring three runs to push a modest lead out to a five-run advantage. Cleanup hitter Jessica McArthur drove in two runs with a clutch single before Chastity Smith stole home.

Morgan Sheridan sparked the Scotties (8-16) rally after being hit by a pitch and advancing the to second on a wild pitch. With Maryville starter Sarah Reeder rattled, Agnes Scott strung together four straight hits and took advantage of another wild pitch to draw within one-run. After a Kysoo Kerkes single put runners at the corners with two outs, Kerkes would be caught in a run-down between first and second in an unsuccessful attempt to give the tying run an opportunity to score.

Both starting pitchers went the distance with Reeder (9-13) hanging on for the victory while Chelsea Kremer (6-13) took the loss.

ASC was eliminated from the championship. Maryville advances to the 4:30pm game to face top-seeded Piedmont College in the secoond elimination game of the day for both teams.

Top-Seeded Piedmont Eliminates Host Wesleyan

Top-Seeded Piedmont College nearly batted around twice in the bottom of the first on its way to a 19-0 victory over No. 6 Wesleyan College on day two of the Great South Athletic Conference Softball Championship.

[ Box Score ]

The top of the Lions' (23-13) lineup dominated offensively. Leadoff hitter Megan McClain went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and four driven in while Taylor Morgan added three more RBI and a pair of runs scored on her way to a very efficient 2-for-3 day.

Britteny Head and Morgan Studdard combined to hurl a one-hit shutout. Studdard picked up the win after relieving Head in the third inning.

The Pioneers (1-29) were eliminated from the championship while Piedmont advances to face the winner of the Noon contest between Maryville College and Agnes Scott College.