Softball Season Ends With Another Tight Regional Loss
SAVANNAH, GA -- Catawba was eliminated from the 2012 NCAA DII Southeast Region Softball Tournament, falling to host and second-seeded Armstrong Atlantic State University on Saturday afternoon at the AASU Softball Field. The ninth-ranked Pirates improve to 45-10 and stay alive to face third-seeded Lenoir-Rhyne in another elimination game on Saturday. The Catawba Indians end their season at 33-19.
Each team was able to muster up six hits, but the Pirates were able to push home the lone run with a two-out double in the second. Senior Brittany Murray (Asheboro, NC/E. Randolph HS) kept Catawba within striking distance, working out of several jams.
Armstrong loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the first inning, but Murray (16-12), got a comebacker and a pair of infield pop ups to get out of trouble. Catawba threatened themselves in the top of the second with a pair of one-out singles, but could not advance further.
The Pirates got on the board in the second as Ashley Schwab worked a two-out walk. Shelby Duff drove in the run on a double to the gap in left center field. That run ending an 18 1/3 scoreless inning streak by Armstrong that dated back to the first round of the Peach Belt Conference tournament.
Caitlin Campbell (20-3) made that run hold with the shutout. Campbell allowed six hits, walked one and struck out four. The Armstrong defense turned two double plays behind Campbell as the freshman delivered her fourth shutout of the season.
Murray was the hard-luck loser for the Indians for a second straight game as she gave up six hits and one run in six innings of work, walking two while striking out one. Armstrong threatened to pad its lead in the fifth, putting runners on second and third with one out. Murray responded with a strikeout and a ground out.
The Lady Indians also had a scoring chance in the third after a leadoff single by Amanda Terry (Cordova, NC/Richmond Senior HS) and a one-out infield single by Alli Justice (Bishopville, MD/Decatur HS). Campbell retired the next two in the order to keep Catawba scoreless. Kayla Myers (Bryson City, NC/Swain Co. HS) reached on a walk to start the fourth, but was erased on a double play. Tara Gibbs (Waynesville, NC/Tuscola HS) singled to start the sixth and was erased on a double play. She was the final runner of the game for Catawba.
Duff finished the game 2-for-2 with a pair of doubles and an RBI to lead the Pirates at the plate, while April Jowers, the nation's leading hitter, went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles. Justice led the Indians at the plate with a 2-for-3 day.
VIDEO: Coach Whitley Discusses 2012 SeasonRelated Item: Box Score