The long afternoon began when the Lady Flames and Mustangs were delayed for some 90 minutes when an earlier game went 10 innings before a winner was decided. Then came a 7-2 lost to Central Baptist leaving the Lady Flames, Mustangs and Reinhardt College all 2-1 in pool play.
After tournament officials discussed the tie-breaker rule for only a short period, Central Baptist advanced on to the double-elimination, eight-team tournament on today. The run-differential came into play. The Lady Flames had to win the final game, but if they lost by fewer than five runs, Reinhardt would have advanced.
However, the SSAC will be well represented in today's play. Auburn-Montgomery, William Carey, Shorter and Brenau all advanced to the final eight. Lee ends the season with an impressive 48-11 mark. Central Baptist improved to 52-6.
Lee appeared to be ready to put huge runs on the board in the very first inning. With one out, Savanna Bell singled and Kelsey Barnes followed with a booming double to left-center that put Lady Flames on second and third. Bell was tagged out at the plate on an attempted squeeze bunt by Ana Coscorrosa. A walk followed to load the bases, but a strikeout ended the potential big start.
The inning set the tone for the rest of the evening. The Lady Flames placed runners on second and third in the second, but again could not score. For the game, Lee left 10 base runners stranded. The Mustangs went to work on offense scoring a single run in the second then forcing Lee starting hurler Jessa Watts from the circle with three more scores in the third.
The margin grew to 7-0 in the sixth before the Lady Flames finally got on the board in the bottom of the same inning. Coscorrosa posted her third hit of the contest to get things started. Charlie Wooden and Deziraz Parsons walked to load the bases. Two outs followed before Dominique Hannah drew a free pass to force home the first tally and Jennifer Ringle got her second hit of the game to score Wooden.
The Mustangs blasted seven extra base hits off Lee hurlers Watts and Katie Deems. Samantha Luther, who also added a single and double, joined Erica Gunter in ripping long homers. Jessica Bock went the distance for the winners allowing eight hits, walking five and striking out six. Neither team was guilty of an error.
Watts surrendered five hits, four earned runs, walked one and struck out one. Deems went the final 4.2 innings giving up six hits, three earned runs, two walks and while getting four strikeouts.