Posted: Mar 10, 2013 8:14 PM
Updated: Mar 11, 2013 11:00 AM
GULF SHORES, AL - No. 18-ranked Central Methodist claimed the 2013 Silver Bracket championship on the final day of the Gulf Coast Invitational. The Eagles earned three wins Sunday over Campbellsville (Ky.), Cumberland (Tenn.) and LSU-Alexandria.
Bri Ford's three-run homer in the bottom of the third lifted Central Methodist (5-5) to a 5-2 victory over Campbellsville in the quarterfinals.
Emma Napier plated the first run of the game on a solo home run in the top of the third, putting the Lady Tigers on top before Ford answered with her second blast of the season in the bottom of the inning.
The Eagles added another run in the fourth after a triple from Mary Kate Townley was followed by a RBI single by Madison Watson. Central Methodist's lead increased to 5-1 in the fifth inning after a RBI double by Megan Robbins scored Nikki Giovenco from first.
Campbellsville (10-8) went on a two-out, seventh inning rally after Napier hit a single to left field. Two more singles followed from Kacie Vincent and Taylor Borders, scoring Napier to put another Campbellsville run on the board. However, Central Methodist pitcher Aubrey Utley ended the threat with a strikeout, leaving two runners on base.
Utley earned the win in the circle with a complete game performance.
Pitcher Victoria Decker suffered the loss for the Lady Tigers after giving up four runs in three and one-third innings of work. Kelsi Pardue totaled seven strike outs and allowed only one run in three and two-third innings of relief.
Napier went 3-for-4 on the afternoon.
In the semifinals, Ford scored the only run of the game in a 1-0 win over Cumberland (14-6). The Branson, Mo., native reached base on a fielding error in the top of the fourth inning and crossed the plate three batters later when Jacqulin Cappuccilli reached on a fielder's choice.
Jocelyn Glaze and Ford combined for a two-hitter in the circle. Glaze (1-1) earned the victory, tossing six and one-third innings of two-hit ball while recording three strikeouts. Ford picked up her first save of the season with two-thirds of an inning of relief.
Pitcher Caroline Curran (1-2) took the loss for the Bulldogs. She gave up one unearned run on three hits in four and one-third innings in the circle.
Cumberland made three errors in the game.
Central Methodist raced past LSU-Alexandria (13-15) by a score of 12-2 in five innings in the championship game. The Eagles' win snapped LSU-Alexandria's four-game win streak.
The Green and Black jumped all over the Lady Generals early with 11 runs in the bottom of the first inning. The Eagles started the scoring barrage with a two-run double by Courtney Dennis which was followed by RBIs from Townley, Jessica Wilmes, Watson and Melanie Wilmsmeyer. Dennis ended the onslaught in the frame with a two-run homer.
After LSU-Alexandria came back with two runs in the top of the second inning, a Johnica Hanke RBI single in the fourth made the difference 10 runs.
Central Methodist travels to No. 19 Mobile (Ala.) for a doubleheader on Tuesday at 3 p.m. CT.