NAIA
NAIA
Softball - Wed, Apr. 25, 2012
News Photo
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Columbia
Union
KINGSPORT, Tenn. -- The fifth-seeded Union College softball team scored six runs in the first inning, then held off eighth-seeded Columbia (S.C.) down the stretch to pull out a 6-4 victory in an elimination game at the 2012 Appalachian Athletic Conference Tournament Wednesday at Domtar Park. 

With the win, the Lady Bulldogs improved their record to 27-16, and will play third-seeded Tennessee Wesleyan tomorrow at 11 a.m. in the day's first elimination game. With the loss, Columbia was eliminated from the tournament, finishing the year at 17-25.

In the bottom of the first, the Lady Bulldogs got off on the right foot, scoring six times, with all six runs coming with two outs. In the frame, Jamie Cyrus had a two-RBI double, Gina Loflin hit an RBI single, Madison McKinney added a two-RBI double, and Lauren Presley ended things with an RBI single of her own.

The six-run inning knocked Columbia starting pitcher Brittany Barr out of the game, as the Lady Bulldogs pounded out six hits in the inning to take a big lead after one.

Columbia, however, came right back in the top of the second and scored four runs of their own, cutting the lead all the way down to two. The rest of the way, the UC offense was silenced by Columbia reliever Callie Wayne, who gave up just three hits five and one thirds of long relief work.. 

This meant UC starter Abby Sears had to find a way to get Columbia out, and did so, wiggling her way out of a few jams along the way. The first came in the top of the fifth, where the Fighting Koalas had the bases loaded with one out. But, Sears got a strikeout, then a infield pop-out to get out of the jam. 

Columbia made one final stand in the top of the seventh, as Sears walked the bases loaded with two outs. Then, Sears ended the ballgame, striking out Columbia's Callie Wayne looking to end the game in thrilling fashion.

Overall in the game, Sears was the only UC player at the plate to register multiple hits, going 2-for-3. In the circle, Sears went to 15-6 on the year with the win, tossing a complete game. She gave up four runs on six hits, and struck out 12 batters in the victory, which matched a career-high. 

The Lady Bulldogs will take on Tennessee Wesleyan tomorrow, as TWC dropped a 6-3 decision to second-seed Reinhardt in the final game today at the AAC Tournament. For up-to-date information on the tournament, click here