Shealy keeps C-N alive against Mars Hill, 10-4
GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – Carson-Newman's Mary Shealy homered twice, including a grand slam, and pitched four perfect innings to open the game, to lead C-N past Mars Hill, 10-4, in an elimination game in the 2012 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Softball Tournament.
Carson-Newman advances to face Catawba at 6 p.m. at Red Edmonds Field on the Tusculum campus at 6 p.m. this evening.
Shealy was 2-for-3 with two home runs and a sacrifice fly to carry C-N. She finished the game with six RBIs and her fifth-inning grand slam built the C-N lead to 6-0 at the time. She also pitched a complete game to pick up her nation's best 32nd win.
Carson-Newman struck first in the top of the first, taking a 1-0 lead off a pair of Mars Hill errors.
C-N's Shelby Robertson singled to short and took second on a throwing error by shortstop Ashley McCurry. A throwing error on a ground ball by second baseman Shaundee Woosley moved Robertson to third. She would score on Shealy's fly out to give C-N a 1-0 lead.
A diving catch in left center on a Shealy line drive by Lions' centerfielder Stephanie McGrath kept the damage to a lone run.
The Lady Eagles extended their lead in the fourth as Shealy belted her sixth home run of the season. The solo shot cleared the fence in right center to make it 2-0 C-N. First baseman Cailtlyn Lance followed with a double to right-center and Sara Kelley added a single to right, but Lance was thrown out at home for the first out of the inning, keeping the lead at two.
Shealy helped herself in the fifth as C-N broke the game open behind her grand slam. The senior stroked her seventh home run of the season, and third in her last four at-bats dating back to Sunday, down the left field line off of Lions' reliever Taylor Morris to grow the lead 6-0.
Kelley added a two-run home run two batters later as C-N moved ahead 8-0. The sophomore belted a line drive to left for her team-high ninth home run of the season.
In the circle, Shealy retired the first 12 batters she faced to open the game. Mars Hill's Natalie Haithcox's solo home run to open the bottom of the fifth broke up the perfect-game bid. For the first team All-SAC selection, it is her 18th home run of the year, which leads the league.
Shealy issued a walk to Woosley to follow Haithcos'x home run, but retired the next three batters to end the threat.
Mars Hill stayed alive in the sixth, scoring a pair of runs on an RBI single by Robyn Stanek and an RBI ground out from Woosley. The Lady Eagles pitched around Haithcox to load the bases ahead of Woosley's ground out.
The Lions added a run in the seventh on a triple by McCurry to right-center field and an RBI single from McGrath. Shealy walked the bases loaded with two following the single, but induced a Woosley ground out to end the game.
Mars Hill starter Taylor Hussey (LP, 8-9) went 6.2 in taking the loss for Mars Hill.
Shealy (WP, 32-21) allowed four runs, two earned, on five hits, all coming in the final three innings. She also walked three.
After Shealy's perfect start, Mars Hill had eight base runners in the final three innings.
Robertson was 2-for-4 and scored three times for C-N, while Kelley added two hits and two RBIs.
McGrath led the Mars Hill offense with a 2-for-4 day and a run scored.