Big Fourth Inning Kicks Pirates From Tournament
JACKSON, Tenn. - For the second time in the day the Pirates took on a repeat opponent in the SCAC Conference Tournament. This time the opponent was Birmingham Southern who defeated SU 4-3 on day one of the tourney and the Pirates ran out of steam offensively in game two, falling 6-2 to be eliminated from the tournament.
Both teams were able to get runners on base to open the game, but couldn't push anyone past second base as the game remained tied 0-0 heading into the second.
Fronk opened the third with a double to right center for Birmingham Southern and Berkopec moved her to third with a single to shallow center field. Fronk was brought home for the first run of the game on an RBI single by Lopez and the Panthers took a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the third.
Abi O'Connor took the first pitch of the bottom half of the inning into center field and moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. Amanda Ambrose's slow roller to Ferris at first moved O'Connor one base closer with two outs. Kaitlyn Pavlicek poked the 3-2 pitch through the infield to bring home the equalizer 1-1.
Fernandez responded with a lead-off double to left center to open the fourth and with the shot the Pirates brought in Pavlicek to return to the circle. Fernandez moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and was brought home by Bice with one out. A passed ball and shallow hit allowed more runs to score and put BSC up four, 5-1, through three and a half.
Southwestern steadily got runners on base but couldn't get the crucial hit they needed to push runs across the plate until Tessa Galloway's shot to center field that was just inches from clearing the fence, bringing home Ramirez who opened the inning with a double.
The Panthers added an insurance run in the seventh on an RBI grounder by Rucker to bring the count to the 6-2 final.
SU recorded nine hits and were led by Turpin and Pavlicek who both went 2-4 from the plate in the loss. BSC also had nine hits on the evening and were led by Lopez and Fernandez who both posted two hits.
The Pirates close the season with a 26-18 overall record and say goodbye to four seniors, Turpin, Pavlicek, Ambrose and Maus. Turpin and Hughes were named to the SCAC All-Tournament team on Sunday.