Eagles clobber five bombs, take two run-rule wins from in-region foes

GREENWOOD, S.C. – Carson-Newman (5-1) pounded five home runs and cruised to a pair of run-rule wins over in-region foes Saturday at the Doug Spears Field.

The Eagles started the day with an 8-0 pounding of King (0-5) before finishing by handing Lander (5-1) its first loss of the year with a 10-1 decision. 

Carson-Newman cranked a pair of home runs in the opener with King before drilling three in the nightcap with Lander. 

"We are getting a tremendous effort out of a lot of different players, not just starters," Carson-Newman head softball coach Michael Graves said. "From top to bottom, this team is really blessed with offensive talent. It's fun to be a part of. This team just loves to score runs."

Of Carson-Newman's 18 hits on the day, 10 were for extra bases. 

Haley Caldwell (Kenova, W.Va.) went 4-for-5 across the doubleheader with a double and a dinger.  Shannon Smith (Channahon, Ill.) smacked a grand slam, a solo home run and six RBI. 

Abby Fiessinger (Benton, Ky.) had a double, a triple and a home run across the two games. 

GAME ONE: Carson-Newman 9, King 0 (five innings)

Carson-Newman used the long ball to jump all over King early.

Abby Fiessinger (Benton, Ky.) jacked a two-out solo bomb to left to open things up for the Eagles in the bottom of the first. 

However, it was the second when the Eagles really poured things on.  Five hits and two errors let C-N hang seven in the frame.

Carson-Newman got two in scoring position to start the inning after a KaraLynne Levi (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) double and a Haley Caldwell (Kenova, W.Va.) single. 

Madelyn Gillett (Howell, Mich.) drove in the game's first run when she reached on a fielding error at first base.  Then, a fielder's choice and an error at short allowed Caldwell to race home to push C-N's lead to 3-0.

After a Leah Sohm (Knoxville, Tenn.) infield single to third, Shannon Smith (Channon, Ill.) muscled up a grand slam, her first career home run, over the wall in center field.  It was Carson-Newman's first grand slam since Fiessinger drove in four on April 2, 2019 against Tusculum.

However, the Eagles weren't done.  After Keeley Quillen (Gate City, Va.) drew a base on balls, Levi laced her second hit of the inning.  The senior doubled off the wall in right to score Quillen from three bases away and stretch the Eagles' edge to 8-0.

C-N added one more run in the bottom of the fourth from two players logging their first career hits.

Rachel Kay (Chattanooga, Tenn.) singled to right to lead off the inning.  Then, Madison Levi (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) golfed a two-out fly ball to left. King's leftfielder misplayed the ball and it zoomed over her head and rolled to the fence. Levi tripled in Kay and set the final margin at 9-0.

Morgen Baker-Celis (Kentfield, Calif.) twirled the two-hit complete-game shutout for the Eagles. She fanned a career-high six batters. 

Casey Gilbert took the loss for King in a two-inning start to fall to 2-1. She gave up six hits and eight runs, six earned before Leslie Odom finished the game.  The pair combined to strike out seven Eagles.

Levi went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI. She was the only player with a multi-hit effort.  The Eagles saw 21 different players see the field in the contest.

The win was Carson-Newman's 15 straight over school's from Conference Carolinas.

Game two: Carson-Newman 10, Lander 1 (five innings)

Carson-Newman started game two much the way it did game one, with a first-inning home run.

Smith punched her second dinger of the day over the wall in centerfield to give the Eagles an early 1-0 advantage. 

Carson-Newman kept the long-ball fun going in the second win Quillen started the inning with a blast to left center to extend the lead to 2-0.  That was before Haley Caldwell (Kenova, W.Va.) muscled up a dinger to right to stretch the lead to 3-0. 

Caldwell tallied her second RBI of the day the next inning with a single. 

Lander scored its only run in the bottom of the third before the third on a Sydney Grimes single.  C-N would score the next six runs. 

The Eagles dropped four in the fourth before powering out two more in the fifth. 

Smith drove in one with a base hit, Quillen produced an RBI ground out and Caldwell scored a two run single to center to account for the scoring in the fourth. 

Fiessinger dropped a two-run triple to produce the runs in the fifth. 

Rinus hurled the complete-game, surrendering four hits and a run.  She improved to 3-0 with the win. 

Ashley Vinson took the loss for Lander, falling to 2-1. She worked the first two innings, giving up four hits and three runs. 

Liz Gollin fired the final three innings.  She walked six, gave up five hits and seven runs. 

The Eagles return to action Wednesday at Lee. 




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