No. 1 Radford Tops No. 8 Winthrop, 8-0
RADFORD, Va. (www.BigSouthSports.com) - Jackie Jenkins tossed a three-hit shutout and top-seeded Radford scored eight two-out runs as it defeated No. 8 Winthrop, 8-0, in five innings in game four of the 2012 Big South Softball Championship presented by Musco Sports Lighting and Brookwood Farms Barbeque Thursday afternoon at Radford Softball Field in Radford, Va.
Radford improves to 33-19 on the year, while Winthrop fell to 16-37.
Jenkins struck out two and did not walk a batter as she recorded her fifth shutout of the season. At the plate, junior Morgan Eye recorded two hits with a run and RBI for the Highlanders.
Megan Chapman was 2-for-3 with a double for the Eagles. Natalie Becker suffered the defeat as she was unable to get out of the first frame in which she allowed four runs on two hits with two free passes and one strikeout in .2 innings.
The Highlanders jumped on top with a four-run first, highlighted by a Jessie Hutchens three-run home run to right center. It followed Michelle Beall's RBI single that put Radford on the board.
Radford added three more two-out runs in the third, the first on a RBI single by Eye. After an intentional walk to senior Nichole Beall, consecutive hit batsmen pushed its lead to 7-0.
After Winthrop stranded runners at second and third, senior Vicki Madden dumped a two-out run-scoring single just off a diving second baseman's glove to plate Nichole Beall with the final run.
Nichole and Michelle Beall each recorded a hit and scored two runs, while Michelle also knocked in one. Kathryn Eberlin recorded Winthrop's other hit.
Chelsey Schoenfeldt and Sara Allen each tossed two innings of relief for the Eagles, allowing a combined four runs on five hits with three strikeouts and three walks.
The Highlanders advance to Friday and will face No. 5 Gardner-Webb, a 4-2 winner in the tournament opener, at 11:30am. The Eagles turn right around at take on No. 4 Campbell in tournament's first elimination game at 7:00pm.
Radford Head Coach Mickey Dean
"We came out very business like today and kept a good rhythm throughout the contest. We were aggressive with the bats and on the bases and Jackie (Jenkins) got ahead for the most part which made for some quick defensive innings."
Winthrop Head Coach Mark Cooke
"Jenkins did a great job shutting us down today. Radford showed why it is the No. 1 seed. When they put the ball in play they hit it hard. The three-run inning took all the air out of us. We have to hit the ball better in our next game."