Longwood wins four-consecutive elimination games to take league crown
ROCK HILL, S.C. -- New Big South member Longwood won four-consecutive elimination games after falling to Liberty on the first day of the tournament to win the 2013 Big South Softball Championship at Winthrop Terry Field. Longwood defeated Winthrop 10-2 in the championship game Sunday morning for its first Big South softball title. The Lancers receive the Big South's automatic berth to the NCAA Regionals and will make its first appearance in a NCAA Division I Softball Championship.
The Lancers took the lead in the bottom of the first when Kori Nishitomi advanced home on an error by Winthrop second baseman Kristy Noble. Brook Short slid home when Emily Murphy fouled out to right field.
Longwood jumped to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the third when Sciacca hit a home run into left center with Short on first base.
Back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the fourth gave Longwood an 8-0 advantage. Short, the 2013 Big South Player of the Year, blasted a three RBI homer to right center. The next at bat Sciacca registered her fourth RBI of the game with a solo home run to right center.
Winthrop needed to score one run in the top of the fifth to escape the eight-run mercy rule coming into effect. With two outs and runners on third and first, Melanie Andrea was next at bat and grounded to Longwood shortstop Murphy who was unable to make the out. Zharne Glover scored on the error. The Eagles scored another run off an RBI single by Teja Durante, making the score 8-2 going into the bottom of the fifth.
In the bottom of the fifth, Nishitomi hit a RBI double to left field, bringing home Jordan Cox and Carly Adams. The mercy rule took effect and Longwood won the game 10-2.
Longwood pitcher Libby Morris earned the win, while Chelsea Schoenfeldt took the Winthrop loss. Morris, who was named Tournament MVP, pitched five innings with three hits, no earned runs and two strikeouts.