LAURINBURG — The St. Andrews University softball team clinched their spot in the AAC Tournament after splitting a double header with No. 12 Reinhardt University (Ga.) on Saturday.
Game 1: SAU 5, Reinhardt 4
Lady Knights’ senior starting pitcher, Kori Ballard, threw three innings allowing four runs off seven hits with two walks and a strikeout. Freshman reliever S.K. Brown (3-6) threw two innings to pick up the win. Brown allowed zero runs off two hits with a walk and a strikeout as she helped keep the Lady Knights in the game after Reinhardt jumped out to a 4-0 lead heading into the fifth inning.
St. Andrews scored two runs in the fifth to cut Reinhardt’s lead to two on a Ballard sac fly. The Lady Knights tied the game on RBI singles from junior second baseman Sam Lowder and freshman shortstop Brennan Broadaway before Ballard hit a sacrifice fly for the go-ahead run.
Sophomore reliever Nancy Amos came on in the seventh inning to get the final three outs to pick up her third save of the season.
The St. Andrews offense was led by seven different Lady Knights recording hits with four driving in runs. Sophomore designated hitter Lexi Dawson and senior left fielder Mekayla Valentine led with multi-hit games.
Game 2: Reinhardt 13, SAU 1 (5 innings)
The Lady Knights weren’t able to keep the Lady Eagles down in game two. Reinhardt jumped out to a 6-1 lead after three innings. The Lady Eagles put the game out of reach with seven runs over the next two innings taking advantage of five St. Andrews errors.
Game two starter, Brennan Broadaway picked up the loss falling to 6-10 as she tossed two innings allowing three runs off three hits with two walks. The Lady Knights used three relievers — Nancy Amos, Kori Ballard, and S.K. Brown — to finish the game. The trio combined to allow 10 runs off 10 hits over the final three innings.
Lady Knights Sam Lowder led the offense with a double while Ballard drove in a run. Lowder leads the team with a .386 average while Broadaway has 33 RBIs.
St. Andrews improves to 16-28 overall and 7-13 in the AAC as they move into eighth place to secure the final postseason spot. Reinhardt moves to 34-13 and 14-4 in the AAC.
The Lady Knights will be on the road for their final two non-conference series this weekend at Belmont Abbey on Saturday and Johnson C. Smith on Sunday. The AAC tournament begins on April 26.