Campbell Tops Gardner-Webb, 4-3

Shaela Churchiil (Courtesy of Big South photos)
Shaela Churchiil (Courtesy of Big South photos)

ROCK HILL, S.C. – A pair of homers by junior second baseman Shaela Churchill (Winterville, S.C.) and Big South Freshman of the Year catcher Courtney Klingler (Alvin, Texas) aided No. 2 Campbell to a 4-3 victory over No. 7 Gardner-Webb on Thursday evening at the Big South Championship at Terry Field.

The Bulldogs mounted a comeback with two runs in the seventh as Samantha Meenahan and Kellie Beres registered RBI singles before second baseman Churchill showed her range by catching a blooper in shallow right for the final out.

Campbell moves on to play the winner of No. 3 Longwood and No. 6 Liberty on Friday at 4:30 p.m. Gardner-Webb faces the loser of that contest at 11:30 a.m.

Freshman pitcher Courtney Roberts (Simpsonville, S.C.) picked up her 19th victory of the season by fanning four during seven strong innings.

A trio of Camels notched two hits in senior right fielder Sarah Forgacs (Cary, N.C.), junior first baseman Raven Lee (Battleboro, N.C.) and Klingler.

Big South Coach of the Year Drew Peterson realigned his batting order by returning sophomore shortstop Ericka Nesbitt (Salisbury, N.C.) to the leadoff spot and placing Forgacs in the second slot. Sophomore center fielder Stephanie Jones (Black Mountain, N.C.) moved from two to five and came through with a single and sacrifice fly.

After a 1-2-3 top of the first, the Camels scored first as Forgacs singled up the middle with one out, Klingler was plunked by a pitch for the 14th time this season and Lee had a seeing-eye base knock through the right side. Jones then sent a 1-1 pitch to the wall in straight-away center for a sacrifice fly, just missing a round tripper.

Gardner-Webb knotted the contest at one in the third on a single by Beres down the left field line with the bases loaded and two outs. Roberts notched her first strikeout to end the frame.

With two outs in the bottom of the fourth, Churchill connected on her third homer of the season to left center as Campbell took a 2-1 advantage.

Another one-out base hit by Forgacs started the fifth for the Camels. Klingler extended the lead to 4-1 on her 13th blast of the season.

The Camels, who have now scored a team-best 74 runs during the fifth, loaded the bases, but a strong play by the second baseman Meenaghan ended the threat with a fly out down the right field line.

A leadoff single by Jill Blank and a one-out double by Taylar Prdigen started a seventh-inning rally for the Bulldogs. Meenaghan beat-out an infield single to short as the advantage was cut to 4-2.

The Bulldogs cut the advantage to one on a wild pitch before Roberts induced a pair of fly outs to end the contest.