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Lady Railsplitters blast off to stay alive In 2013 Food Lion SAC tournament

SALISBURY, NC -- The eighth-seeded Lincoln Memorial University Lady Railsplitters slammed three home runs, with two coming off the bat of Danae Reed, en route to a 9-5 win over the No. 5 Carson-Newman Eagles to stay alive in the 2013 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Tournament on Friday in Salisbury, North Carolina.

Lincoln Memorial (30-21) lives to see another game by virtue of their victory, as they advance to take on No. 7 Wingate, who fell to Lenoir-Rhyne in 12 innings in the morning session. The Lady Railsplitters and Bulldogs are scheduled to duke it out for the right to play on Saturday on Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. barring inclement weather. Carson-Newman's season draws to a close with a 30-18 overall mark.

The Lady Railsplitters set the tone early, as Brianna Mulkey was hit by a pitch to lead off the top of the first and Kirstin Toole followed with a lazer, two-run bomb over the right field fence. Two batters later, Amanda Snow walked to put LMU back in business, and Laura Taricano kept the inning rolling with a single. Cierra Mudd was walked to load the bases and, following a fielder's choice, Danae Reed stepped to the plate and cleared the bases with a towering grand slam.

In the bottom of the first, LMU starter Kirstin Toole worked out of a jam that saw the Eagles put runners on first and third with two outs, as she held Carson-Newman at bay to retain a 6-0 advantage after one frame.

After two scoreless frames from both sides, the Eagles fought back into the ball game with a five-run outburst in the home half of the third. Sara Kelley drove home the first run with an RBI single and a wild pitch allowed Bri Shoemake to score. Caitlyn Lance plated two with a single into left field and Bethany Davis capped the scoring rally with an RBI groundout. However, the Lady Railsplitters stranded a runner at first base to hold the lead at 6-5.

In the top of the fifth, Danae Reed struck again, this time with a two-run blast to extend the Lady Railsplitters' lead back out to 8-5. Laura Taricano plated an insurance run for Lincoln Memorial in the top of the sixth, as she popped a single down the left field line to plate Kirstin Toole, who led off by being hit by a pitch.

Over the final three innings, LMU starter Kirstin Toole did not allow a hit to the Eagles, as she capped her complete-game performance with only five hits allowed and two earned runs. Toole moved to 6-4 on the season after tossing a season-high 128 pitches and striking out three batters.

The Lady Railsplitters outhit Carson-Newman, 8-7, in the contest, and Danae Reed led that productivity with three hits that included two home runs and six RBI. She is the first member of the LMU softball team to homer twice in a game since Ashley Legge in the 2010 season. Laura Taricano added two hits with an RBI and a run, while Kirstin Toole pounded one hit, a two-run blast in the top of the first.

Katie Sims was saddled with the loss for the Eagles, falling to 18-6 on the season after allowing two hits and five earned runs in 0.1 innings of work.

Bri Shoemake and Caitlyn Lance led the Eagles with two hits apiece.

Lincoln Memorial 9, Carson-Newman 5 (Apr 19, 2013 at Salisbury, NC)
Lincoln Memorial.... 600 021 0 - 9 8 2 (30-21)
Carson-Newman....... 005 000 0 - 5 7 1 (30-18)
Pitchers: Lincoln Memorial - Kirstin Toole; Samantha Smith(8) and Laura Taricano.
Carson-Newman - Kaitie Sims; Cassie Lyons(1) and Bri Shoemake.
Win-Kirstin Toole(6-4) Loss-Kaitie Sims(18-6) T-1:57 A-42
HR LMU - Kirstin Toole (4); Danae Reed 2 (5).
Weather: Overcast, upper 60s

S. Smith faced 3 batters in the 3rd.

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