ROCK HILL, S.C. – Longwood's Emily Murphy connected on three home runs and totaled five RBI to aid the Lancers to an 8-6 victory over Campbell at the Big South Championship in Rock Hill, S.C. on Saturday afternoon. The big hit for the Lancers was a two-run shot by Murphy that provided a three-run cushion in the top of the seventh.
The Camels added one run in the bottom of the seventh as senior right fielder Sarah Forgacs (Cary, N.C.) had a one-out double before scoring on an RBI base hit by junior first baseman Raven Lee (Battleboro, N.C.) with two outs.
"This team has accomplished a lot this season with being in a position to win a conference regular season title and getting into a situation where we were one game away from playing for the conference championship," said head coach Drew Peterson. "We did all of that with a very young team. The student-athletes have shown resiliency all year and a never-say-die attitude. Without a doubt, the things that we accomplished this year and the confidence that we are going to build off of will motivate and help give us the passion to achieve excellence in the future."
Libby Morris (20-8) notched both victories on the day for Longwood, while fanning three in the second game.
In the circle, freshman pitcher Courtney Roberts (Simpsonville, S.C.) fell to 20-7 on the campaign with 3.2 innings of work. The Camels received 3.1 innings of relief from junior Olivia Scarborough (Buies Creek, N.C.), who yielded three hits and runs.
For the third time in five meetings, Campbell out-hit Longwood, 10-9, as sophomore third baseman Brittany Bruce (Lumberton, N.C.), Lee and Forgacs each tallied two hits.
Driving in four of the six runs was Lee, who finished two away from tying the program's single-season RBI mark of 72 set by Amanda Littlejohn in 2008. She also was second on the yearly charts with 18 homers during the season and finished the Big South Championship going 6-for-9 with 5 RBI and 3 walks, earning a position on the all-tournament team.
After Longwood was sent down in order in the top of the first, Campbell started quickly as sophomore shortstop Ericka Nesbitt (Salisbury, N.C.) reached on an error and Forgacs beat out a bunt single.
With a pair of runners in scoring position, Lee singled up the middle to put the Camels on top, 2-0. The third run of the frame was driven home by Scarbrough on a base hit up the middle as junior pinch runner Amanda Daw (Pantego, N.C.) crossed the plate.
The Longwood attack cut the Campbell lead to 3-2 in the second on a two-run homer by Murphy following a double to left center by Chelsea Sciacca. Megan Baltzell blasted her NCAA-leading 30th round tripper to start the third before Cox tallied an RBI on a fielder's choice to put the Lancers in the lead for good, 4-3.
An insurance run was tacked on following a Sciacca single through the left side in the fifth. Murphy registered her second homer of the day to extend the advantage to 6-3 to lead off the fifth.
During the bottom-half, the Camels rallied as Bruce in the nine-hole notched a single to right to begin the frame. A bunt single to third by Nesbitt put Campbell in business before a fielder's choice placed runners at the corners.
Freshman catcher Courtney Klingler (Alvin, Texas) was plunked by a pitch to load the bases. A sacrifice fly by Lee brought one run across.
Then, sophomore center fielder Stephanie Jones (Black Mountain, N.C.) delivered a double to left center that cut the deficit to one, 6-5, but Klingler would be out on the play after being caught in a runner down between third and home to end the threat.
The top of the seventh changed the complexion of the game as Adams singled to left with one out in front of Murphy, who drilled her third homer around the foul pole down the left field line, 8-5.
A three-run cushion was enough for Morris in the circle as the Camels plated just one in their final at bat.
The 39-win total was the most for the program since registering 42 during the 2008 campaign.
It was the final-career contest for seniors Brittany Arnn (Danvile, Va.) and Forgacs. Campbell can look towards the future as the program returns the rest of its roster going into the 2013-14 campaign.