NEWBERRY — The Wolves opened South Atlantic Conference play Saturday against the Lady Eagles of Carson-Newman, the teams split the series with scores of 8-0 and 11-4.
Game Two of Saturday’s doubleheader showed the efficiency of this Wolves team with a final score of 11-4. Carson-Newman (19-7, 1-1 SAC) opened the game up with a run of their own and held Newberry (18-10, 1-1 SAC) scoreless in the two-opening innings.
However, the Wolves responded with two consecutive innings with multiple runs scored. The first of the successful innings came in the third as Natalie Willis’ triple to right field allowed McKenzie Barneycastle to break the seal for Newberry. A couple batters later, Paige Meyer singled to the third baseman, advanced pinch runner Shannon McCann and sent Willis home to score. The lead would now belong to Newberry 2-1.
In the bottom of the fourth Barneycastle dropped a triple into right field and scored designated player Chelsey Cunningham. Willis, two batters later, singled to left field propelling Tori Caldwell to second base, and rounded Barneycastle.
Haley Simonds’ at bat saw her crank out another home run, her third of the season, to center field sending Willis and Caldwell home to score. The inning would end with Newberry scoring five runs, on four hits, with no errors, and none left on base. The Wolves controlled the game heading into the top of the fifth 7-1.
Another drought would impede the rhythm of both teams again in the fifth. The Lady Eagles would go out one, two, three. The Wolves posted two hits but couldn’t capitalize before the conclusion of the inning.
Carson-Newman threatened Newberry in the top of the sixth as the Lady Eagles were able to drive in three runs and cut the Wolves’ lead to 7-4. A series of singles and a sacrifice fly would remove starting pitcher, Emily Marchbanks from the competition.
The Newberry offense would tack on four insurance runs in the proceeding inning to ultimately seal the 11-4 victory. Willis doubled to right field and advanced to third on a throwing error by Carson-Newman’s second baseman. This play also scored Caldwell.
Simonds, who was now in the circle for the Wolves, was walked during her at bat. Meyer then reached on a fielder’s choice to the shortstop, getting Willis home, but seeing Simonds out on the play. Kailey Carpenter singled to center field, but was out at second on a play made by the center fielder to the catcher and finally the second baseman. However, Carpenter would still score Haley Wildes and Meyer before the play was over.
Simonds and the Wolves defense down five of the final batters for Carson-Newman only allowing one hit. The 1.1 innings pitched for Simonds gave her the second save of this season. Starting pitcher Marchbanks nabbed her seventh win on the season, going 5.2 innings against the Lady Eagles.
Notable batters for Newberry in Game Two were Willis, Barneycastle, Simonds, Meyer, and Carpenter. Willis tallied a double, a triple, and an RBI. Barneycastle owned a triple and an RBI. Simond’s homerun nabbed her three RBIs. Meyer and Carpenter both finished the contest with two RBIs.
Game One concluded play in five innings as the Wolves struggled to piece together offense. Carson-Newman strung together a couple successful innings tallying eight runs and nine hits. Down but not out, Newberry got hot in the bottom of the fourth as Caldwell started the Wolves off on a single to the shortstop.
Willis reached on a fielder’s choice to the shortstop, but Caldwell was out on the play. Reentering the game, Simonds singled to left field and advanced Willis. The inning would end shortly after this rally with two hits and both left stranded.