CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – No. 8 Birmingham-Southern softball used two home runs to help catapult them over Rhodes College 8-2 in the Southern Athletic Association tournament championship Sunday afternoon at Frost Stadium. BSC (34-5) went undefeated in the tournament, extending their win streak to 21 games.
Haley Crumpton (Alabaster, Ala./Thompson HS) was named tournament MVP and Saydee Keith (Corner, Ala./Corner HS), Bailey Murphy (Trussville, Ala./Hewitt-Trussville HS), and Savannah Lee (Lascassas, Tenn./Oakland HS) were named to the SAA All-Tournament Team for their performance this weekend.
Keith and Murphy picked up three hits on the day. Keith went 3-for-3 with a three RBI and a run. Murphy went 3-for-4 including a two-run home run to open scoring in the first inning. Crumpton earned the complete game win. She pitched a full seven innings, striking out 10.
After Murphy's two-run blast in the first inning, the Panthers put more runs on in the third. Lee reached on a fielders choice and then scored when Keith tripled to left center. Crumpton then came up and drilled a ball over the left field fenced to put BSC up 5-0.
Rhodes responded in the bottom of the inning with a two-run homer of their own. But the Panthers regrouped and got their bats moving. Lee hit a hard ball that the shortstop mishandled and let roll into the outfield, scoring Spencer from second. After a wild pitch moved Lee and Kendell Hamm (Adamsville, Ala./Sumitron Christian HS) into scoring position, Keith singled to right center and brought them both home.
Despite putting ducks on the pond, Rhodes was unable to get around BSC's defense and remained off the board for the duration of the game.
BSC is 20-11 all-time in the SAA tournament. This is the first time the Panthers have gone undefeated in the tourney. They earned the league's automatic qualifier to the NCAA tournament with the win and now wait for the selection show on May 6 to know which regional they are heading to.
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