HARDEEVILLE, S.C. – The 15th-ranked Spring Hill College softball team continued play the 2013 NAIA National Championship Tournament's Opening Round with a 6-4 loss versus the 9th-ranked USC-Beaufort Sand Sharks at Richard Gray Baseball/Softball Complex on Tuesday morning.
Badger senior third baseman Mariha Partman blasted a solo home run out of right field with one out in the top of the 1st inning for the first score of the game and her team-leading 10th round-tripper of the year.
Badger starter freshman Caroline Sagrera (32-9) allowed two unearned runs off two hits and two fielding errors to put the Sand Sharks (43-4) up 2-1 after one inning of play, but freshman SHC shortstop Sam Leach ripped her first homer of the year out of left-center to knot the game at 2-2 with two outs in the top of the 2nd inning.
Freshman designated player Taylor Lahasky dropped a single into left-center in the 3rd inning that brought in sophomore catcher Jade Bourgeois from 3rd base with two outs and also plated sophomore centerfielder Taylor Webre from 2nd base when the Sand Shark centerfielder misplayed the scoop attempt of the ground ball.
USCB cut it to 4-3 in the bottom of the 3rd inning when a steal of 3rd base resulted in a score as Sagrera's throw sailed into left field and allowed Mariaha Sanborn to scamper home.
Shortstop CJ Browder tied the game at 4-4 with a leadoff Sand Shark homer in the bottom of the 5th inning. Browder was followed by a double off the bat of centerfielder Shelby Zipperer and two-run homer by Sanborn that put USCB up 6-4.
Sagrera went the distance in the loss with seven hits, four walks and seven strikeouts. At the plate, Bourgeois collected a pair for hits for the Badgers.
Sand Shark starter Ashlie Layman yielded to Kristy Cook (22-0) with two outs in the 3rd inning after allowing seven hits with two walks. Cook then proceeded to sit down 13 consecutive Badger batters including four strikeouts. Browder was 2-for-4 with an RBI and three runs scored for the home team.
Spring Hill (42-15) will next play an elimination game at 5 p.m. EDT on Tuesday versus the winner of this afternoon's Virginia Intermont/Cumberland (Tenn.) contest.