April 28, 2012

Hughes’ Record-Setting Performance Paces Pirates to Win

JACKSON, Tenn. - Junior first baseman Haley Hughes went 3-5 from the plate with two homeruns, her second and third homeruns of the tournament, and set a new SCAC Conference Tournament record for most homeruns in the tournament with her performance. Southwestern defeated Austin College 9-5 in game one on day two of the tournament to stay alive in the loser's bracket. 

With the first pitch of the game it was obvious that it was a renewed team as Taylor Turpin reached safely, laying down a beautiful bunt on the first pitch she saw. Austin College worked to two outs with just a runner on first and seemed poised to escape the inning, but a pair of errors on Haley Hughes' hard hit ball to second allowed the bases to be cleared as two runs scored. One more run on an RBI single by Ashleigh Scott put Southwestern up 3-0 through the first inning.

AC made a push to score in the second with a lead-off walk to Beltran and single by Farquhar with no outs, but starting pitcher Lyndsy Maus and the Pirate defense took care of business without the runners advancing further, retiring the next three batters in order.

Hughes added one more run in the third, taking the first pitch she saw, a fastball on the outside corner, to opposite field and over the fence to put SU up 4-0.

Just as in the second the 'Roos opened the fourth with runners on first and second with no outs, but Maus got Rossman to ground into a 643 double play. AC was still within striking distance of the plate with Beltran on third base and needed one more out and got just that from Amanda Ambrose as she fielded a tricky grounder and threw out Delaney at first to end the inning. 

Hughes continued to be dynamite at the plate to open the fifth inning and delivered her second solo homerun of the game with a bomb to dead center on a full count, putting Southwestern up a comfortable 5-0. Tessa Galloway followed Hughes' lead and hit a solo shot of her own to left centerfield with two outs and gave the Pirates a 6-0 lead through four and a half.

With bases loaded the Pirates got three consecutive singles from Abi O'Connor, Turpin and Ambrose to drive in three more runs. The 'Roos spoiled the shut out for Maus with four hits to close out the game and arrive at the 9-5 final.

Hughes' homerun in the fifth made her the SCAC Tournament record holder for most home runs in the tournament with three. Three players, Margaret Kelly of Rose-Hullman ('06), Jennifer McKinley of Millsaps ('07) and Laci Hart of Austin College ('08), all hit two homeruns in previous seasons and held the record until today. 

Maus earned the win with a sensational six innings of work and Kaitlyn Pavlicek closed things out on the mound with .2 innings. Turpin and Hughes both went 3-5 from the plate to lead offensively for Southwestern. Trudell went 3-4 from the plate for the 'Roos.

The win improve Southwestern to 25-17 on the year and they advance to face the winner of the Rhodes/Millsaps game at 4 p.m.

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