BURLINGTON, N.C. – Playing their third game of the day, the top seed in the Conference Carolinas Softball Tournament managed to stay live with a 1-0 victory over fifth seeded Erskine College. The Saints tallied their lone run, and pitcher Kelly Shearer made it stand up as she allowed just four Flying Fleet hits.
Sam Thornton started the Saint rally in the bottom of the first inning with a one-out single to right center. She later advanced to second on a passed ball before scoring on a Bailie Maybry two-out single down the right field line to give Limestone (31-17) the lead.
Shearer cruised through the first four innings before Erskine (19-23) registered a pair of hits to start the fifth inning. The Flying Fleet then dropped down a sacrifice bunt to put runners on second and third with one out. However, Shearer induced back-to-back groundouts to third base to end the threat and keep Limestone in the lead.
The Saints threatened to break the game open in both the fourth and sixth innings. Limestone had the bases loaded in both frames, but Erskine pitcher Danica Newton got a strikeout to end the fourth and a lineout to end the sixth, keeping the Flying Fleet within one going to the seventh.
Shearer wasn’t about to be denied however, as she sat down the Flying Fleet in order to keep the Saints alive with the 1-0 win. She tossed all seven innings, and allowed just four hits and struck out four on 78 pitches. Ashley Cox went 3-for-4 to lead the Saint offense from the leadoff spot while Sam Thornton and Paige Bolding registered two hits apiece.
For Erskine, Newton tossed all seven innings, allowing just the one unearned run while scattering 11 hits. Four Erskine hitters recorded one hit apiece.
With the win, Limestone will face King University in another elimination game at 11:00 a.m., on Sunday morning while Erskine is eliminated. The winner between King and Limestone will face the University of Mount Olive twice, and will have to defeat the Trojans twice to claim the title.