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Softball Finishes as AAC Tournament Runner-ups

Softball Finishes as AAC Tournament Runner-ups

KINGSPORT, Tenn.- The softball team were back in action in Kingsport, Tenn., on Friday. Due to their loss the previous day, the third-seeded Lady Bulldogs had a steep task in front of them at the Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) Softball Championship Tournament. In order to win the title, they needed to win three consecutive games. The first game would be against the Johnson Univeristy Lady Royals, the two-seed in the tournament. 

vs. Johnson:

In the previous tournament game between the two teams, the game went to extra innings. This game was finished in regulation. 

A walk by Macy Chastain opened the batting for TWU in the bottom of the first. A wild pitch opened the way for Chastain to get to second and a Emily Higgins single gave Chastain the chance to score, making the score 1-0 after the first. 

The third inning opened with three consecutive singles by Caroline Moore, Chastain, and Courtney Sneed. On Sneed's single, an error by the opposing team gave Moore the chance to score and left Chastain on third. Sneed moved to second on a wild pitch. Higgins recorded a second RBI as a fly out turned into a sacrifice fly when Chastain scored. The inning ended with the team leading 4-0 when Bailee Phillips hit a double that Sneed would score on. 

Two more runs were added to the score for the Lady Bulldogs in the fifth inning. Kaley Bradley brought in pinch-runner Ali Richards for the first run of the inning. With the bases loaded, Gracie Calton earned a walk, moving the score to where it would finish, 6-0. 

With the win, Tennessee Wesleyan (27-12) not only moved to the championship game but clinched the conference's second automatic bid to the 2024 NAIA Softball National Championship Opening Round. 

vs. Reinhardt

Step one of working their way to a conference title was complete. The next step included beating the No. 1 seed in the tournament, the Reinhardt University Lady Eagles, twice. 

Chastain put the game into a 1-1 tie in the third inning. Hallie DeArman started the game with a single. Pinch-runner Richards moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Carlynn Atamaniuk and scored on Chastain's single. 

The team was unable to carry the momentum from the run any further in the game as the opponents scored eight runs through the remainder of the game to win the game 9-1.

Chastain, Penning and Phillips were named to the All-Tournament Team.

TWU (27-13) will find out their spot in the Opening Round on Tuesday at 5:00 p.m.