Softball Splits with Longwood; Klingler with Walkoff HR in Game One

Courtney Klingler (Courtesy of Bennett Scarborough)
Courtney Klingler (Courtesy of Bennett Scarborough)

BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Freshman Courtney Klingler (Alvin, Texas) powered Campbell to a game one win in an ESPN3 broadcast with a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh to notch a 7-6 come-from-behind victory on Saturday evening at Amanda Littlejohn Stadium. The Camels tied the Lancers at five with a two-run seventh in the night cap, but Longwood would end up registering a 6-5 win in nine innings.

Campbell (37-18, 18-5 Big South) has an opportunity to clinch a Big South co-Regular Season Championship on Sunday at 2 p.m. with a victory over Longwood (35-17, 15-8 Big South). Seniors pitcher Brittany Arnn (Danville, Va.) and right fielder Sarah Forgacs (Cary, N.C.) will be honored prior to their final home contest.

During the doubleheader, Klingler went 5-for-8 with a homer and six RBI to pace the Camels. Sophomores center fielder Stephanie Jones (Black Mountain, N.C.) and shortstop Ericka Nesbitt (Salisbury, N.C.) and junior first baseman Raven Lee (Battleboro, N.C.) each tallied multi-hit games.

Jones (7) and Lee (17) each blasted homers in game one with Lee moving into sole possession of second on the Campbell single-season home run chart. Round trippers for Longwood were hit by Megan Baltzell (25) and Brooke Short (16).

Picking up the victory for Campbell was freshman Courtney Roberts (Simpsonville, S.C.) with three innings of relief and one strikeout to improve to 18-6 on the year. Junior Julia Callicutt (Asheboro, N.C.) provided the Camels with nine strong innings, but fell to 10-2 on the season.

Earning the triumph in game two was Libby Morris (15-7) with seven strikeouts in nine innings of work. Short (18-8) was dealt the defeat with five strikeouts over 6.2 frames tossed.

The Lancers were led by Kori Nishitomi in game one with a 4-for-4 performance and four runs scored. Baltzell, Short and Chelsea Sciacca each added multi-hit games for the Lancers.

Game one went back and forth as the Lancers delivered the first punch with four runs over the first three innings, capped by a Short homer to left. Campbell responded in the bottom half of the third to tie it with four runs on four hits, including Lee's two-run shot to left center and a two-run double by Klingler.

Each team added a run in the fifth as Baltzell had an RBI single and Jones led off the bottom-half with a solo shot.

The Lancers took the lead in the seventh as Nishitomi reached on a single down the left field line and scored on a short base knock up the middle.

An error that allowed sophomore third baseman Brittany Bruce (Lumberton, N.C.) opened the door for Campbell, and Klingler ended the game in exciting fashion by launching a 2-1 pitch over the fence in left.

In game two, Longwood opened with a 4-0 lead through five innings as Short drove home a run in the first and two in the third before Baltzell connected on a solo shot.

The response for Campbell came in the bottom-half as a Nesbitt single scored the first run for the home team before Klingler delivered an RBI base hit up the middle. Lee cut the deficit to 4-3 on a sacrifice fly to right.

An insurance run was tacked on in the sixth as Sciacca singled up the middle, 5-3.

More heroics for Campbell occurred in the bottom of the seventh as Bruce walked and Jones singled to the pitcher. A single through the right side loaded the bases for the Camels with no outs.

Klingler came through with the first run on a single through the right side before the second sac fly by Lee knotted the contest at five. The Lancers were able to get out of the jam to move the game to extra innings.

After neither team scored in the eighth, singles by Nishitomi and Short and a wild pitch placed two runners in scoring position with one out. Notching the game-winning RBI on a fielder's choice was Sciacca to put the Lancers ahead.

Morris notched two strikeouts and a groundout to preserve the win for Longwood.

The series finale between Campbell and Longwood is on Sunday at 2 p.m. Fans can watch the action on the Big South Network.