St. Andrews News
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Senior LF Mekayla Valentine
Softball - Wed, Apr. 26, 2017 by Troy Baranik

KINGSPORT, Tenn. - The St. Andrews University Softball team dropped a heartbreaking first round AAC tournament game to top seeded Reinhardt University (Ga.) falling 5-4 in 8 innings on Wednesday afternoon in Kingsport, TN at the Brickyard Ball Fields.

AAC First Round: RU 5, SAU 4 (8 innings)

Senior starting pitcher Kori Ballard (SR/Richmond Hill, SC) started the game for the Knights on the mound and lasted 3 plus innings allowing three earned runs on 7 hits and 3 walks before freshman reliever S.K. Brown (FR/Huntersville, NC) relieved Ballard with the bases loaded in the 4th inning would go on to toss four shutout innings allowing just 3 hits and lowering her team-leading ERA to 3.13 as she helped carry the Knights into the extra innings.

RU got out to a slim 1-0 lead after two innings before SAU took their first lead at 2-1 as they scored two runs in the third off an RBI single from freshman shortstop Brennan Broadaway (FR/Oakboro, NC) and a RU error that brought in freshman Ashlyn Dial (FR/Laurinburg, NC), who had singled. SAU totaled 4 hits in the inning, but left two runners in scoring position as well.

RU would then add a run apiece in the third and 4th innings to lead 3-2 heading into the 6th when the Lady Knights tied the game at 3 on a Brooke Sikes (SR/Warrenton, NC) RBI double that scored Nikki Santiago (SO/Gainesville, FL). SAU then took their second lead of the game in the 8th inning as Sophomore DH Lexi Dawson (SO/Garland, NC) doubled to lead off the inning and came around to score on a Mekayla Valentine (SR/Danville, VA) RBI single.

Sophomore reliever Nancy Amos (SO/Huntersville, NC) (0-4) then came on for the 8th and, unfortunately, allowed 3 hits and two runs in 1/3 of an inning as Reinhardt rallied to walk off with the win, 5-4.

SAU had nine different players record at least one hit with 3 driving in runs while every starter reached base safely. Dawson and Valentine led with the only multi-hit games while those two along with Sikes and junior 2B Sam Lowder (JR/Stanfield, NC) recorded extra-base hits. Lowder's 12 doubles are a team-high.

Dawson has now recorded 8 hits in the past 5 games to increase her average to .352.

The 8th seeded Lady Knights fall to 17-30 while Reinhardt improves to 38-14. SAU will now play 5th seeded Point (30-21) on Thursday morning beginning at 11:00 a.m. in the consolation bracket.

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