(LaGRANGE, GA) - West top-seed Maryville captured the program's first USA South Softball Tournament championship with a 9-4 victory over East top-seed Salem on Monday, April 16 at the LaGrange College Softball Complex in LaGrange, Georgia as a part of the 2018 USA South Spring Sports Festival. This was after the Scots dropped a, 4-3, decision to the Spirts which forced a second, winner-take-all, championship game.
In the first game of the day, Salem jumped out to an early, 2-0, first inning lead which was cut to one in the fourth inning by Maryville. Down by one heading into the top-half of the seventh inning, the Scots got a two-RBI single from Christina White to give her team a one-run lead. The Spirits rallied in the bottom of the seventh inning to first tie the game on a based loaded walk before winning the game on an Addison York single to center. Miranda Barker claimed the win in the circle for Salem by tossing a complete game.
In game two, Maryville grabbed the early advantage on a two-run home run by Essence Strambler which was quickly erased by a four-run bottom of the first inning by Salem thanks in large part to a three-run home run by Brittany Morton. The Scots tied the game in the third inning on a Morgan Brewer two-run long ball. The game remained tied, 4-4, until Maryville broke things open with a four-run sixth inning followed by a single insurance run in the seventh inning. Katlyn Smith collected the win for the Scots as she came on in relief to toss 6.1 scoreless innings, allowing two runs with four strikeouts.
Smith ended the tournament with a 4-0 record in the circle and was awarded with the tournament's Most Valuable Player.
C - Josie Coker, Piedmont
1B - Nicole Cauthen, Averett
2B - Brittany Morton, Salem
3B - Morgan Brewer, Maryville
SS - Jennifer Vitarelli, Salem
OF - Montana Lineberger, Salem
OF - Essense Strambler, Maryville
OF - Christina White, Maryville
DP - Eran Artigues, Meredith
P - Miranda Barker, Salem
P - Katlyn Smith, Maryville (MVP)
2018 USA South Softball Tournament Schedule (all times EST)
First Round - Best-of-Three Series* - All games played at the higher divisional seed
#6 West-Wesleyan - 0 #1 West-Maryville - 8 (6) (Game 1)
#5 East-Ferrum - 0 #2 East-Meredith - 3 (Game 1)
#6 East-William Peace - 2 #1 East-Salem - 7 (Game 1)
Saturday, April 7
Double-Elimination Six-Team Tournament - All games played in LaGrange, Georgia
Saturday, April 14