Newport News, VA-The Salem College softball team exceeded expectations in their first trip to the NCAA Regionals. After falling 6-0 to Christopher Newport on Friday, the Spirits upset Ramapo 5-2 yesterday afternoon. In a two-day marathon game with Ranolph-Macon that finished today, the Spirits fell just short 8-6 in 12 innings. Montana Lineberger and Kierston Garner were selected to the 2015 Newport News Regional All-Tournament Team. The Spirits finish their 2015 campaign with a 21-16-2 overall record.
The Christopher Newport game was close until the very end. Brianna Morris pitched 5 tremendous innings, holding the top-seeded Captains without a run. Christopher Newport was able to get on the board in the bottom of the 5th. They would tack on 5 more runs in the 6th and hold on for the 6-0 win.
On Saturday, Ramapo jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the 1st. Off of home-run blasts by Maggie Fritts and Garner, the Spirits took a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the third. They would score again in the bottom of the sixth for the 5-2 win. Lauryn Smith pitched a great game for the win.
In the 12-inning game, Salem battled back from a 4-1 deficit. They scored three runs in their last chance at bat in the bottom of the 7th to tie the game and force extra innings. Bre Crumley and Garner came up with big runs batted in to force the tie. The two teams would play through the 9th inning, before the game was halted due to darkness. The game resumed this morning in the 10th. Neither team scored in the 10th or 11th inning. Randolph-Macon scored four runs in the top of the 12th, before Salem battled back with two in the bottom of the inning, but it was not enough. Randolph-Macon advanced to today's championship against Christopher Newport with the win.
This weekend, Smith pitched 14.2 innings. She gave up 8 earns runs on 18 hits. Morris pitched 12.1 innings. She gave up 6 earns runs on 16 hits.
Garner led the team with 4 hits this weekend. Jennifer Vitarelli, Lineberger, Fritts, and Crumley all had 3 hits. Lineberger led the team with 2 runs. Garner led the team with 4 runs batted in, while Crumley and Fritts each had 2. Vitarelli and Lineberger each had 2 doubles this weekend to lead the team.
The Spirits return most of their squad for 2016 as they will try to repeat as Great South Champions.