ANDERSON, S.C.- The Coker College softball team advanced to the championship by way of a victory over Queens (N.C.) 5-0, but fell to Carson-Newman in the big game for the second consecutive year, 5-1.
The Cobras handled the Queens (N.C.) Royals in the semifinals for their second straight shutout in the conference tournament. Christine Carver was lights out in her six-shutout innings, allowing just three hits, aiding in Coker's 5-0 victory over the Royals.
Anna Gluhosky opened up the second straight game reaching base by drawing a walk. Katelyn Chambers laid down a successful sacrifice bunt to move her to second. Maria Williamson then singled to right field to put runners on the corners. Hannah Goodman stepped in a batter later to load the bases with a walk. Mindy North hit a single up the middle to score Gluhosky, taking the 1-0 lead.
In the second, Brianna Strickland led off with a single up the middle, stealing second soon after. Chambers reached base on a walk to have two runners on for Williamson. She drove a single down the right field line to bring Strickland in from second extending the Navy and Gold lead to 2-0.
The final runs of the game occurred in the third inning on a Strickland home run. Goodman earned her second walk of the day to start the third go-around and Allyson High doubled down the left field line to put two runners in scoring position. Strickland made it count by hitting a three-run, no-doubter down the left field line for her second of the year to make the final score 5-0.
Taylor Forehand entered in relief for an inning, giving up just one hit in the seventh.
The Eagles set the tone for the game early and did not relent the lead to secure the South Atlantic Conference Championship on Saturday, April 28.
Carson-Newman opened the game up with a leadoff home run.
The Navy and Gold responded in their half of the inning to tie the game at a run apiece. Once again, Gluhosky reached base to open the Coker half of the first inning; this time on an infield single to the pitcher. Chambers sacrifice bunted her over to second base. Williamson then drove Gluhosky home on a line-shot to the gap in right center to even the score 1-1.
The game broke open in the fourth inning for the Eagles, scoring four unearned runs, sealing the Championship.
Six of the first seven Carson-Newman outs, were courtesy of Carver strikeouts.
The All-Tournament team and Most Valuable Player will be announced Tuesday, May 1.
The 2018 NCAA Division II Softball Regional selections will be released on Monday, May 7, at 10:00 a.m., where the Cobras will learn of their postseason fate.