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Cavalier softball season ends in marathon loss

KINGSPORT, Tenn. – Georgetown College scored an unearned run in the bottom of the 15th inning to end the fourth longest game in NAIA history as the Tigers defeated UVa-Wise 6-5 in an elimination game at the Mid-South Conference Softball Tournament on Monday.

The Cavaliers (31-21) scored two runs in the top of the game’s first inning as Kristina Romualdo lined an RBI single and Charity Lawson’s sacrifice fly to left field scored Megan Dillion.

A half inning later, the Tigers (33-13) cut the lead in half on an RBI double by Katie Mann to plate Chelsea Riney.

Neither team would score in the second inning but, both schools would dent the scoreboard in the third frame.

UVa-Wise would score two runs as Mindy Combs’ infield single scored Dillion. A Georgetown error would allow the second run to scamper home as Lawson rounded third and scored on the errant throw.

The multi-run lead would be short lived again as Mann produced her second RBI of the game and a Cavalier error allowed a second run to cross.

With the score 4-3, Romualdo would line a base hit to right-center to score Sarah Wiltshire. Romualdo would be thrown out trying to stretch the single into a double but, Wiltshire had already crossed the plate with UVa-Wise’s fifth run.

A half inning later, the Tigers again cut the lead to one. This time, the number three seed would use two errors to make the score 5-4.

UVa-Wise starter Rachel Hawks would keep Georgetown at arm’s length until the seventh inning. Hawks appeared to be well on her way to tying the school record for wins (21) as she retired the first two hitters of the final regulation inning. However, back-to-back singles by Shelby Engle and Mann put runners on first and second for Mallory Johnson. Johnson would produce her only hit in seven at bats in the game to score Engle and tie the game at five.

Hawks would retire Hillarly Plain on a line out to left field to send the game to extra innings.

Mann finished the game with three hits but, her biggest accomplishment may have been her relief work. The left hander came on in the third inning and matched Hawks zero for zero all the way to the 15th inning.

In the 15th frame, Plain reached on an error and moved to second on a bunt. Hawks would then retire Cassidy Taylor for the second out of the inning. With two away, Sandy Young jumped on the first pitch and lined it to right-center, scoring Plain and ending the marathon game.
Mann earned the win tossing 12.1 innings. In the extended relief effort, she allowed nine hits, one run, struck out three, and walked two in her 189 pitches.

Hawks was the hard luck loser as she allowed 15 hits in her 14.2 innings of work. The right hander struck out five, walked two, and allowed just two earned runs as she tossed 229 pitches. The 14.2 innings pushed her season total over 200 innings, the most in a single season by any Cavalier.

The game is the longest recorded game on record for UVa-Wise and the second longest game in Mid-South history.

Eight players finished with multiple hits and 10 players had seven at bats in the game as the two schools combined to strand 27 runners.
Georgetown advances to play another elimination game later tonight while UVa-Wise’s season comes to a close.

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