MACON, Ga. - Kennesaw State locked up its spot in the Atlantic Sun Softball Championship with a sweep on Saturday. North Florida also secured a spot in the championship with a doubleheader sweep of River City rival Jacksonville. Stetson also swept their conference games, while Lipscomb and USC Upstate split a doubleheader in Spartanburg, S.C.
Kennesaw State vs. FGCU
The Owls took a doubleheader from FGCU on Saturday to win the two-game series and secure its spot in the A-Sun Championship. The first game was a thriller as the game moved into extra-innings after KSU rallied for four runs in the bottom of the seventh. Courtney Sutter got an RBI-single to complete the comeback and tie the game at 9-9. In the bottom of the ninth, it was Megan Veringa who delivered the walk-off two-run home run to give the Owls an 11-9 win.
In game two, the top-three in KSU's batting order each collected two hits each as the Owls completed the day sweep with a 5-3 victory. Natalie Rhodes, Taylor Denton and Sutter combined for six hits, with Sutter getting two RBI to lead the Owls in the second game. Logan Viers went the distance giving up only three runs over seven innings. Kennesaw State became the second team to clinch a berth in the 2015 A-Sun Championship.
North Florida vs. Jacksonville
It was River City Rumble time on the diamond as the cross-town rivals met on senior day for North Florida. The Ospreys secured a doubleheader sweep with a 2-1 victory in game one and 7-6 in game two. In the opener, the Ospreys scored two runs in the first inning with Alex Arciola getting the game-winning RBI. Kaylie Wallace pitched a gem to silence the Jacksonville bats. She struck out eight, while only giving up one run in the victory.
Game two brought more offense with it for both sides. The Dolphins got off to a 6-0 lead after Danielle Baker hit an inside-the-park home run in the fourth inning. Arciola once again got things started for UNF as she brought in the first run with an RBI-single. The Ospreys continued to chip away at the lead, eventually tying the game in the bottom of the seventh on an Arciola sacrifice fly. Katie Mandigo stepped up to the plate, and delivered a walk-off single to center field to give the Ospreys the sweep. Combined with FGCU's and Northern Kentucky's results on Saturday, the Ospreys earned a berth in the championship.
Stetson vs. Northern Kentucky
The Hatters picked up two crucial conference wins over NKU on Saturday as the Hatters celebrated senior day as well. Courtney Brandt and Chelsea Hostetler combined to shut down the Norse offense in the opener and ensure a 3-1 victory for Stetson. The Hatters combined for five stolen bases with Jessie Tenbroeck, Kayla Drury and Jessica Griffin picking up RBIs to have just enough offense.
In game two, both teams finished with seven hits, but it was the Hatters once again to took home the win by the narrowest of margins, 3-2. Kelsey Waters hit a solo home run and Kayla Drury had the game-winning RBI on a single to shortstop. Hostetler was back in the circle, this time going all seven innings for her 15th win of the season.
USC Upstate vs. Lipscomb
The Spartans and Lady Bisons split a doubleheader as Lipscomb handed Upstate only its second conference loss of the season. Game one went in favor of the Spartans 10-5 as the offense combined for 10 runs on 15 hits. Karla Beasley went 3-for-4 with four RBI and two runs scored to lead the Spartans offense. Dana Landers went a perfect 3-for-3 and scored three runs.
Game two was all Lipscomb as the Lady Bisons won 9-0 behind Tanner Sanders' brilliant pitching performance. She went all seven innings, only allowing five hits and striking out three. Sanders held Upstate off the scoreboard for only the third time this season, previously only No. 9 Florida State and SEC member South Carolina had been able to accomplish the feat. Offensively, Brittany Elmore and Mimi Carthwright combined for six hits, while Elmore, Paige Neeley and Brianne Welch had two RBI each. With the Lady Bisons leading 4-0 after the third, the offense came up with five runs in the top of the seventh.
Teams will close out the weekend series tomorrow, except for Kennesaw State and FGCU whose third game was cancelled due to inclement weather in the area.
|Atlantic Sun Team||A-Sun Record||Overall Record||Streak|
|* USC Upstate||15-2||36-8||L 1|
|* Kennesaw State||12-5||31-14||W 5|
|* North Florida||10-8||28-23||W 4|
|Northern Kentucky||1-13||5-30||L 10|
* Clinched spot in A-Sun Championship
Atlantic Sun Softball Results from Saturday, Apr. 18th
- Kennesaw State 11, FGCU 9 (9 innings)
- North Florida 2, Jacksonville 1
- USC Upstate 10, Lipscomb 5
- Stetson 3, Northern Kentucky 1
- Stetson 3, Northern Kentucky 2
- Kennesaw State 5, FGCU 3
- North Florida 7, Jacksonville 6
- Lipscomb 9, USC Upstate 0