WOODSTOCK, Ga. – Campbell's softball team (7-8) won a thrilling 3-2 extra-inning game over Southeastern Louisiana (2-13) on the final day of the Phyllis Rafter Memorial in Woodstock, Ga.
Freshman Erica Johnson provided the big hit with her two-out gap shot to right field to plate freshman Ericka Nesbitt from second base for the game-winner. Nesbitt started the frame by being place on second as part of the international tiebreaker rule. Johnson's hit came after the Camels had a fly out, walk and fly out earlier in the frame.
Senior Christina Melton (3-4) earned the victory and was steady throughout in going all eight innings with six strikeouts. She only allowed one walk, two runs and scattered nine hits. Kenna Terry (0-6) was tagged with the loss as she gave up the unearned run in the eighth inning. She pitched 3.2 innings in relief with three walks allowed and two strikeouts.
The Lions threatened in the first inning as Michelle Duhe singled up the middle and Megan McCollum was hit by a pitch. Melton was to the challenge though and induced a fielder's choice ground out, a pop out and ground out to end the inning unscathed.
The Camels defense helped keep the game scoreless by turning a smooth double play after a Duhe single in the fifth inning. Sophomore Shaela Churchill fielded a grounder that was headed up the middle, flipped to freshman Ericka Nesbitt who then fired onto freshman Erica Johnson at first base for double play.
The Camels, who were inspired by the smooth double play to end the top of the frame, finally broke through for the team's first base runner in fifth inning as sophomore Raven Lee led-off the frame with a double. Sophomore Jessi Lane was then inserted to run for Lee. Senior Taylor McGee then unloaded with a two-run blast to give CU a 2-0 advantage. The home run was McGee's third of the season and 34th of her career.
Southeastern Louisiana would answer though with a run in the sixth inning. Ariell Van Hook started the trouble with her one-out single. Jennifer Secrest was inserted to run for Hooks and moved to second on Katie Doyle's single. Trish Bliss was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Meghan Gomez hit a long sacrifice fly to drive in Secrest and make the score 2-1.
SELU tied the game up with a run in the top of the seventh inning. Duhe reached on a one-out single. McCollum doubled her to third. Duhe came in to score the tying run on Jessie Browne's single. The CU defense saved a run off a wild pitch as McGee kept her cool and threw onto a covering Melton at the plate to eliminate McCollum, who was attempting to score the go-ahead run on the off-target pitch.
The Camels next head down to Gainesville, Fla. to take on Tennessee State at 9 a.m. on March 2 in the first game of the Lipton Invitational.