May 22, 2010

Courtesy of Radford

ATHENS, Ga. - Two record-breaking home runs by Nichole Beall (Culpeper/Culpeper County) and a one-hit shutout by Chelsea Kelley (Roanoke, Va./Cave Spring) kept Radford's season alive as it defeated Elon, 8-0 in five innings. The Highlanders, for the second straight year, will have a chance to advance to the Regional final when they face Florida State at 5:20 p.m.

The Highlanders recorded 14 hits led by Shannon Keefe (Lemont Township, Ill./Lemont) and Beall with three base knocks apiece. Beall set a single-game record with 10 total bases, breaking the previous mark of nine held by several players. She knocked in four and scored three. Keefe tallied a pair of runs.

It was Kelley's fifth one-hit shutout of the season. She struck out four and walked one as she improved to 24-8.

For the second straight game, Radford struck for a first inning run. Keefe's RBI single put the Highlanders on the board, plating Nichole Beall, who walked and moved to second on Sarah Himan's (Woodbridge, Va./Hylton) single. It was Himan's 241st career base knock, second all-time at Radford.

The Highlanders broke the game open with a five-run, six-hit second which saw 10 batters come to the plate The frame was highlighted by Beall's school record 17th long ball, a three-run blast to left center, that put Radford up 4-0.

Keefe would later score on a Hope Creasy (Christiansburg, Va./Christiansburg) double when the relay throw sailed high over third base. Michelle Beall (Culpeper/Culpeper County) added the fifth run when she chopped an RBI single into left.

In the third, Beall's second home run of the game, a line shot to left center, pushed Radford's lead to 7-0 and set a new school record of 72 which also tied the Big South mark held by Liberty's 2007 squad.

The Highlanders took advantage of a failed pick off of Keefe to tally another run in the third. After moving to second, she scooted home on Creasy's single to left center. Radford could have added more, but a diving stab by Elon shortstop Danielle Lafferty ended the frame.

Jackie Gonzalez broke up Kelley's no-hit bid with a leadoff bunt single in the fourth. After a sacrifice bunt and a walk Radford turned a 6-4-3 double play to end Elon's only threat of the game.

Creasy and Shifflett had two hits apiece.