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Indians rally past Eagles, 5-4
by Charles Casey
(May 14)BRIDGEPORT -- Jennifer Rome's two-run single capped a three-run, seventh-inning rally as the Indians downed Robert C. Byrd 5-4 in a Class AAA sectional softball game Wednesday night.
Rome's game winner was her only hit of the game and improved the Indians' record to 18-6.
The Eagles (13-12) took a 4-2 lead in the top half of the inning and seemed primed for the upset when Juanita Farnsworth and Amanda Mazzei both walked and later scored on wild pitches.
But Angie Handschumacher, Tracey Kemmerer and Shannon Curry got the Big 10 co-champions back in the game with bunt singles, the last scoring Handschumacher.
One out later, Rome came through with a solid liner to center field to give Bridgeport the thrilling victory.
"I was really nervous going to the plate, but I just relaxed up there and came through," Rome said. "It was a good team win and we got a lot of help off the bench."
Beth Guzzi didn't have her best pitching performance, but she got outs when she needed them. She went the distance, giving up four runs on four hits, while striking out 12 and walking 11.
The Eagles' Shawna Elder pitched well despite the loss. She tossed a complete-game eight hitter.
"I was really pleased with our play and I don't think I could ask any more out of any of our players," Eagles" coach Larry Snider said. "I thought Shawna pitched an exceptional game against a good hitting team."
Robert C. Byrd earned the trip to the winner's bracket game by rallying for two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to claim a 10-8 victory over Philip Barbour earlier in the day.
Freshman Juanita Farnsworth's single drove in Kristen Goff with the game-winning run for the Eagles.
Farnsworth led Robert C. Byrd's eight-hit attack by going 3-for-3 with a double.
Amy Cosner got the win in relief of Robert C. Byrd starter Missy Arnett, tossing 1 2/3 innings of no-hit, shutout ball. Elder earned a save.
Sarah Jones went the distance and took the loss for the Colts.
Byrd and Philip Barbour play today at 5 p.m. in a loser's bracket contest.
n LINCOLN 9, Liberty 2: Lincoln's defense and pitching propelled the Cougars to a 9-2 victory over Liberty in a Class AA sectional softball game at Ritchie County High School.
"Our defense really hung in there tonight," Lincoln coach Rob Hawkins said.
"Jamie (Wentz) had a little problem throwing strikes but she hung in there and the defense was definitely the the key to the game."
The Cougars were helped by the Mountaineers inability to get timely hits. The Mountaineers stranded 13 runners on base.
"During tournament play, we must execute in all phases of the game," Liberty coach Pam Gum said.
With the win, Lincoln battles Ritchie County at 5 p.m. today. Liberty plays the loser on Friday.
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