For immediate release--#408—5/10/2013
Hornets Fight to Extra Innings, Outlasted by Neumann in NCAA Regional
SALEM, VA—The Lynchburg College softball team finished off its first appearance in the NCAA Regionals since 2009 with an extra inning loss to Neumann University, 6-5.
Amber Ingram entered in the seventh inning for the Hornets, pitching two scoreless frames to keep it close before Allie White drove in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth to complete the Knights' comeback.
The Hornets did not wait long to put the pressure on Neumann early, scoring four runs in the first inning for the early lead due in large part to LC's patience at the top of the order.
Jessi Hall walked and stole second before Nicole Riley drew a walk off the Neumann starter, Lauren Wilkie. A wild pitch advanced both runners into scoring position where they could come home on a single up the middle off the bat of Cassie Phillips for a 2-0 lead. Wilkie then hit Amber Ingram with a pitch, bringing Michaela Munday to the plate, who then singled home Phillips. Ingram came home when the throw home sailed wide of the plate.
The Knights challenged the Hornets in the second when Jacki Herrington and Mariah Ripken walked in similar fashion to how the LC first inning started. Following a fly out, Katie Halter singled to center field to load the bases. Neumann could only get one run in the second as a nice leaping catch by Riley prevented further damage to preserve the 4-1 Lynchburg lead.
Neumann broke through again in the fourth inning, plating two runs and putting a runner on second without the Hornets recording an out, forcing LC to bring Phillips out of the bullpen, clinging to a 4-3 lead.
The senior struck out the first batter she faced before getting the next Knight to ground out. A walk put runners on the corners, but Phillips forced the dangerous Callie Emel to dribble out to second to end the Neumann threat.
Wilkie sat down ten straight Hornets from the second inning on until Hall singled up the middle with one out in the fifth. Riley followed with a double into the left-center field gap, scoring Hall on a fielding error made on the subsequent throw into the infield to extend the lead to two runs.
Neumann came back in the sixth inning to plate two tallies on RBI singles from Emel and Harrington. The Knights tried to send Emel home on the single by Harrington, but Ingram came up with the grounder and threw her out at home to keep Neumann from taking the lead, still tied at five.
Phillips had two hits, a run scored, and an RBI for the Hornets while allowing one earned run in three innings in the circle.
White led the Knights (30-15) with three hits. Wilkie pitched a complete game in the circle for the win.
Lynchburg (32-13) wraps up the season with its fourth trip to the NCAA Regionals and most wins since the 2009 campaign.