LAURINBURG, N.C. - The St. Andrews University Softball team split their conference doubleheader on Senior day Saturday rallying back to edge #12 Reinhardt Univ. (Ga.) 5-4 and clinch their spot into the AAC Tournament on April 26.
Game 1: SAU 5, Reinhardt 4
Lady Knights' senior starting pitcher, Kori Ballard (SR/Richmond Hill, SC), threw 3.1 innings allowing 7 hits and 4 runs (2 earned) on 2 walks and a strikeout while freshman reliever S.K. Brown (FR/Huntersville, NC) (3-6) came in to throw the next 2.2 innings and pick up the win. She allowed just two hits and no runs on a walk and a strikeout as she helped keep the Lady Knights in the game after RU ran out to a 4-0 lead heading into the 5th inning.
SAU then scored two runs in the 5th on a Ballard sac fly and a Reinhardt error to trim the deficit to 4-2. The Lady Knights then tied the game on RBI singles from junior 2B Sam Lowder (JR/Stanfield, NC) and freshman shortstop Brennan Broadaway (FR/Oakboro, NC) before Ballard hit a sacrifice fly for the go-ahead run.
Sophomore reliever Nancy Amos (SO/Huntersville, NC) then came on in the 7th to get the final 3 outs in a perfect inning and pick up her third save.
The SAU offense was led by seven different Knights recording hits while four drove in runs. Sophomore DH Lexi Dawson (SO/Garland, NC) and senior LF Mekayla Valentine (SR/Danville, VA) both led with multi-hit games as well while Lowder scored two runs.
Game 2: Reinhardt 13, SAU 1 (5 innings)
However, the Knights could not keep the Eagles down for long as Reinhardt would jump out to a 6-1 lead after 3 innings in game two. They then put the game out of reach with 7 runs over the 4th and 5th innings taking advantage of five SAU errors.
Game two starter, Broadaway picked up the loss falling to 6-10 as she tossed two innings allowing 3 hits and 3 runs (1 earned) on 2 walks. Three SAU relievers: Amos, Ballard, and Brown then finished the game giving up 10 hits and 10 runs over 3 innings.
Lowder led with a double while Ballard drove in a run. Lowder leads the team with a .386 average while Broadaway has 33 RBIs.
St. Andrews improves to 16-28 overall and 7-13 in the AAC as they move into sole position of the 8th and final postseason spot while Reinhardt goes to 34-13 and 14-4 in the AAC. The Lady Knights also finished their home schedule at .500 at 12-12.
SAU will now head on the road for their final two non-conference series of the season next weekend playing at Belmont Abbey (NC) Saturday at 2 PM and Johnson C. Smith (NC) Sunday.