COLUMBIA, Tenn. — Second-seeded Walters State dropped its opening game on Tuesday in the TCCAA/NJCAA Region VII Softball Tournament but won its second game to stave off elimination and live to fight for at least one more day at Columbia State's Eddie Campbell Field.
The Lady Senators dropped their opening game to third-seeded Volunteer State, squandering a 4-0 lead in a 7-5 loss to the Lady Pioneers. WSCC rebounded in the nightcap of the day by holding off fifth-seeded Dyersburg State, 6-4, to advance to the tournament's final four teams.
With the split on the day, Walters State is now 34-18 on the year, while the Lady Pioneers improved to 27-16 and the Lady Eagles saw their season end with a 23-20 record.
In other games Tuesday, No. 1 seed Chattanooga State (40-8) hammered No. 4 seed Motlow State 8-0 to advance to Wednesday's winner's bracket final against Volunteer State (27-16) at 10 a.m. Cleveland State (25-21) later knocked out Motlow, 7-4, in an elimination game.
Those results set up a possible five-game day Wednesday as the tournament's final day on Thursday was pushed up a day due to the forecast of heavy rain in Columbia on Thursday.
Following the winner's bracket final, in which the winner will advance to the championship game at 5:30 p.m., Walters State and Cleveland State will battle for the second time in the tournament, this time at 12:30 p.m. in an elimination game. The winner of that game would face the loser of the opening game at 3 p.m., with that winner advancing to the championship game. If the team with a loss wins at 5:30, the if necessary championship game is scheduled for 8 p.m.
For Walters State to win the tournament championship and make it back-to-back trips to the NJCAA Division I Softball National Championships in St. George, Utah, it must win four consecutive games on Wednesday.
In the opener, WSCC scored a pair of runs in each of the first two innings, taking a 4-0 lead before the Lady Pioneers scored three in the third and the Lady Senators added one in the fourth to make it 5-3. Vol State then scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth and held Walters State to just one hit in the final three frames to get the win.
Sydney Fox had three hits in the loss for the Lady Senators, while Sydney Dukes added two hits and Keeley Quillen, Kallyn Newport and Emma Seagrave had a hit each in the defeat. Quillen drove in two runs, while Newport, Lauren Brickey and Dukes each had an RBI in the contest.
Delilah Malczewski took the loss after working 4 2/3 innings. Brickey tossed 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.
In the nightcap, Walters State scored all six of its run in the first three innings and held off the Lady Eagles to get the win. The Lady Senators led 2-0 after one and made it a 5-0 lead before Dyersburg State scored a pair in the home half of the second. WSCC's final run came in the third, making it a 6-2 lead, and the Lady Eagles could manage only single runs in the fourth and sixth innings falling two runs short.
Fox had two hits and two RBIs in the win, including a two-run homer in the second inning. Brickey had a double and two RBIs, while Taylor McConnell and Jenica Brown had the other hits for WSCC in the win. Newport and Quillen drove in the other two runs in the contest.
Raylon Smith grabbed the win after working the first six innings and allowing four runs, while Malczewski worked the last inning and got the save.