Dennis Leads CMU Softball to HAAC Tourney Final Four
FAYETTE, MO -- Courtney Dennis belted two key homeruns on Friday night at Cox Softball Complex against Benedictine to advance the No. 21-ranked Central Methodist softball team to the final four of the Heart of America Athletic Conference Tournament. The Eagles (37-12) defeated the Ravens (13-32) by scores of 7-6 in nine innings and 9-1 in five innings.
Central Methodist, the top seed in the tournament, fell behind in game one 6-0 before Dennis led the charge. She hit her first two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning to center field, cutting the deficit to four runs.
A Michele Rupard two-run homerun in the seventh bounced off the top of the left field fence before going over, making the score 6-4 in favor of the visitors. After a Kayla Yount walk, Rebecca Lipsey hit a two-run double to left field that narrowly missed turning into a three-run walkoff homerun. Yount and Kelsey Johnley scored on the play to tie the game and send the contest into extra innings.
The Eagles loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth inning, setting up the winning score. Jacqulin Cappuccilli was hit by a pitch, scoring Rupard to seal the victory.
Aubrey Utley earned the win with a complete game in the circle. She allowed 6 earned runs on 11 hits and struck out 7.
Katelyn Nill suffered the loss. She allowed 5 earned runs on 4 hits in 2.2 innings of relief. Hannah Dusil started the game but got a no-decision, pitching 6 innings, allowing 2 earned runs on 7 hits.
In game two, Dennis belted a two-run bomb to left field to start a six-run second inning for Central Methodist, which was the visiting team in the contest. Rupard had a two-run single up the middle during the half-inning.
The Eagles scored two runs in the fourth inning before a Lipsey RBI in the fifth ended the scoring.
Utley (22-5) picked up the win in the second contest, tossing a complete game, allowing 1 earned run on 4 hits.
Nill (9-13) took the loss in the second game. She allowed 8 runs, 5 earned, on 11 hits in 4 innings.
Central Methodist will face the fourth-highest remaining seed of the conference tournament on May 4 in Kansas City, Missouri. First pitch of the double elimination tournament is set for 3 p.m. CDT.