Greeneville, Tenn. - A walk-off double to left centerfield by Abby Child led #3-seed Anderson University over #6-seed Brevard College in the first round of the 2012 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Softball Championship on Thursday afternoon as the Tornados fell at Red Edmonds Field to the Trojans, 3-2.
Childs drove in Jessica Neidigh and Kelly McInnes with a one-out double to left centerfield and the relay home was wide allowing the winning run to cross the plate as Breard was unable to record the first round upset for the second consecutive season.
Brevard struck first in the contest, breaking a scoreless tie in the top of the fifth against AU starter Amber Duncan by plating two runs in the frame. Clemens singled up the middle with one out and advanced into scoring position on Alyssa Miller’s fielder’s choice. A walk issued to Meredith Davenport loaded the bases with two outs in the frame before Emily Boykin continued her hitting in clutch situations, driving in Clemens and Miller with a single to right field to put the Tornados up 2-0.
Anderson answered in the bottom of the sixth, cutting into the lead with their first run of the game off Clemens as Child reached on a walk and Danielle Swygert followed with a double off the fence in left centerfield, placing two in scoring position with zero outs. Clemens nearly escaped the jam, retiring the next two batters on flyouts, but Child was able to come across the plate on a BC throwing error to narrow the margin to 2-1.
Brevard nearly built on their lead in the top of the seventh, putting runners on first and second with two outs as Davenport singled through the infield and Boykin coaxed a full-count walk, but Duncan retired Maddie Fletcher as the senior third baseman lined out to right field to end the frame and negate the threat.
Rachel Rhodes led off the final inning with a single through the infield and was lifted for McInnes. Neidigh followed with a base hit, putting runners on first and second. Clemens retired the next batter, but Child followed the out with her deciding hit to end the contest.
Clemens went the distance for the Tornados, allowing seven hits in the game while recording four strikeouts. Duncan also went the distance for Anderson, overcoming a wild spell in allowing five walks and seven hits to keep the Tornados at bay in the victory.
Brevard moves to the loser’s bracket and will take on #7-seed Wingate in an elimination game tomorrow morning at Chuckey-Doak High School. First pitch between the Tornados and the Bulldogs is set for 10:30 a.m.