HARTSVILLE – Hailey Drawe did something that almost every kid in America dreams about, hitting a walk-off home run in extra innings to give your team a satisfying victory. Drawe hit a bomb to left field to give third-seeded Newberry a thrilling 3-2 extra-innings victory over sixth-seeded Wingate Thursday morning in the opening round of the 2017 South Atlantic Conference Championship at Byerly Park.
After Devon Morrison pitched a scoreless top of the eighth, Drawe stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the frame. Drawe fouled off the first pitch by Rachel Weidner and watched the next pitch miss outside the zone.
Drawe waited for her pitch and deposited the offering over the left field fence for just her second home run of the season to give Newberry (32-14) a thrilling 3-2 victory in eight innings over Wingate (25-24).
Morrison earned her 19th victory of the season after allowing two runs and striking out three over 8.0 innings. All of Morrison’s victories have been complete games. The reigning SAC Pitcher of the Week continues her stellar April, moving to 6-0 on the month in the circle.
The Wolves struck in the first inning as Natalie Willis stole third and an errant throw by the catcher allowed her to score, giving Newberry a 1-0 lead.
Wingate tied the contest in the third and took the lead in the fourth thanks to Misty Doran’s home run to center.
Newberry would have an answer in the fifth. Sweeney smashed her first home run of the season down the left field line to tie the contest at 2-2.
In the top of the sixth, the Wolves recorded two quick outs before Wingate loaded the bases. Morrison worked Jessica VonCannon to a full count. Morrison was cool under pressure and induced a key groundout on the sixth pitch to keep the contest tied.
Naomi Sapp and Olivia Smith led Wingate with three hits apiece. Weidner took the loss after 7.0 innings and allowing two home runs.
Newberry remains in the winner’s bracket and will face the victor of No. 2 Lenoir-Rhyne and No. 7 Tusculum at 10:00 a.m. Friday. The Wolves split series with both teams during the regular season.