No. 12 Lenoir-Rhyne Eliminates No. 9 Armstrong From NCAA Regional, 4-0
SAVANNAH, Ga. - No. 12-ranked Lenoir-Rhyne rode the arm of SAC Pitcher of the Year Dawon Millwood into the NCAA DII Softball Southeast Region championship day with a 4-0 shutout of host and No. 9-ranked Armstrong on Saturday afternoon, eliminating the Pirates.
The Bears (48-12) advance to Sunday's noon matchup with Flagler and must beat the Saints twice to advance out of the regional. Flagler, meanwhile, needs just one win to advance to the Super Regional. Armstrong wraps up its season with a 45-11 record after making its 10th appearance in the NCAA Championships in the last 12 seasons.
Lenoir-Rhyne scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the fourth inning on Haily Jarman's one-out double to right center field. The Bears looked to have scored an insurance run in the frame as, with runners on second and third and one out, Sara Adkins' fly ball to left was snared by a diving Ashley Schwab. Jarman tagged from third and apparently had scored, but the Pirates appealed and Jarman was ruled to have left third early, ending the inning with just one run crossing the plate.
The Bears then put the game out of reach in the sixth inning as Tameron Sealey led off the inning with a triple to right field, then scored on a Carlee Carpenter RBI single. Jarman followed with an RBI single off of reliever Caitlin Campbell, then a sacrifice fly to left field by Jessica Fellmeth plated the third run of the inning.
That was more than enough offense for Millwood, who fashioned a two-hit shutout, walking one while striking out two to improve to 34-7 on the season with her 18th shutout of the year. Barnwell (21-5) took the loss for the Pirates, giving up four hits and four runs in five-plus innings of work, walking two while striking out two.
April Jowers had a bunt single in the sixth inning as the two-time PBC Player of the Year wrapped up her incredible season with a NCAA Division II-leading .565 batting average as well as 105 hits on the year, both a school and Peach Belt record. She finishes with 334 hits, eighth-most in NCAA Division II softball history.
The Pirates also saw the end of four other senior's careers with All-PBC outfielder Baillie Temples (3rd all-time home runs in Armstrong history), All-PBC first baseman Whitney Galloway, All-PBC designated player Heather Walker and catcher Ashley Buckett playing their final games in Armstrong uniforms on Saturday.