RADFORD, Va. (www.BigSouthSports.com) - Junior Sarah Forgacs drove in four runs on her two hits to lead No. 4 seed Campbell to a thrilling 10-9 victory over No. 8 seed Winthrop in game five of the 2012 Big South Softball Championship presented by Musco Sports Lighting and Brookwood Farms Barbeque Thursday evening at Radford Softball Field in Radford, Va.
Campbell improves to 30-28 on the year, while Winthrop ends its season at 16-39.
The game was a wild contest that saw Campbell score runs in all but two innings and Winthrop all but three frames. The lead changed hands twice and Winthrop, after trailing by four entering the seventh, came within a tally with runners on base of tying the game.
The Eagles had five players that recorded multiple hits in the contest led by Chelsey Schoenfeldt's two hits and three RBIs.
The Camels also had five players with multiple RBIs. Freshmen Ericka Nesbitt and Stephanie Jones both totaled three hits for CU.
The Eagles started the game with three in the opening inning. Megan Chapman singled, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Kristy Noble's home run to left field. Schoenfeldt made it back- to-back home runs with her seventh home run of the season
The Camels answered with two runs in the bottom of the first on Camise Patterson's home run with fellow freshman Ericka Nesbitt on base. The home run was the first of Patterson's career.
CU took the lead in the second frame with three runs. Shaela Churchill singled with one out. Nesbitt followed with a bunt single. After a strikeout, freshman Stephanie Jones singled to drive in Churchill. Forgacs' two-run two-out single up the middle scored Nesbitt and Jones to give CU the team's first lead of the game.
Winthrop tied the game with two runs in the fourth inning. Kelly Blea doubled to start the inning. Christine DeWitt ran for Blea. Alex White reached on an infield single and Teja Durante walk to load the bases. McKenzi Corn drove in the first run of the frame with her single into center field. A bases loaded walk to Schoenfeldt plated the next to tie the game at five all.
The Camels wrestled the lead back in the bottom of the fourth inning. Nesbitt doubled to the gap in left center and scored the first run of the frame on Jones' double. After a pop out for the second out, Forgacs homered to right field with Jones on base. The home run was her second of the season. Senior Christina Melton followed with a solo blast to make the score 9-5 Campbell after four innings.
Winthrop drew a run closer in the fifth inning on a wild pitch to score Alex White.
The Camels scored an unearned run in the fifth inning as freshman Maggie Christopher, who entered as pinch runner for Raven Lee, scored on a two-out fielding error off the ball hit to third from Patterson to give Campbell a 10-6 lead.
The lead stayed the same entering the top of the seventh inning. After a fly out, Carole Reda reached on a pinch hit single. Pinch hitter Taylor Wright singled through the right side to put two on base. Chapman walked to load the bases. A wild pitch scored Reda and moved each runner up a base. Corn reached on a fielding error from the CU third baseman to score Wright. Another fielding error from the CU third baseman allowed Noble to reach to load the bases and forced a pitching change for Campbell to Melton. Melton, who had entered the game with a bases loaded one-out jam, induced a sacrifice fly from Schoenfeldt to score Chapman and draw the Eagles to within a single run at 10-9. Melton then recorded a strikeout to end the game and allow the Camels to escape with a 10-9 victory.
Junior Brittany Arnn (9-10) picked up the win in the circle for the Camels, while Sutton Watson (1-2) suffered the loss. The save went to Campbell's Melton and was her second of the season.
The Camels will play on Friday afternoon at 2:00pm against the Coastal Carolina/ Charleston Southern loser in another elimination game.
Head Coach Drew Peterson
"We swung the bat with a lot of confidence today. I am very proud of Christina Melton for shutting the door in a high pressure situation to preserve the victory for us in the seventh inning."
Head Coach Mark Cooke
"We showed a lot of class tonight in the way that we battled back to the last out. Something we have done all year. We hit the ball the best we did in a long time and credit to our seniors as they went out hitting in their final at bats. You have to give a lot of credit to Campbell. They hit the ball hard and their shortstop made nice plays."