Softball Suffers Heartbreaker to Close Out 2014 Season
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TAMPA, Fla. – Day two of the NCAA South Region Tournament featured the Lady Statesmen taking on the Sailfish of Palm Beach Atlantic and the Spartans of the University of Tampa. DSU rallied to earn the comeback win over Palm Beach Atlantic, 4-3, before falling to Tampa, 3-0.

The Green-and-White were far from ready to go home as they scored the first run of the game against Palm Beach in the first. Kassidy Tally got things started with a leadoff walk, which proved to be detrimental to the Sailfish. Tally's speed came in handy as she stole second and third with no problem. With Tally 60 feet away and Mariah Alvarez at the plate, a soft grounder to the right side was enough to score Tally and take the 1-0 lead.

Palm Beach Atlantic threatened in the fourth with back-to-back singles, putting runners at first and second with no outs. A heads-up play by third baseman Brook Cline fielded a ground ball, stepped on third and fired across the diamond in plenty of time to get the runner at first. Another ground out ended the Sailfish threat, leaving the score at 1-0 in favor of DSU.

PBA scored in the fifth to tie the game at one all on two hits and one DSU error, making the contest exciting.

Moving to the seventh inning with the score still tied 1-1, Palm Beach pulled ahead with two runs, taking the lead 3-1 over Delta State.

With their backs against the wall, the Lady Statesmen were down to their last chance with the season on the line. Cline started a rally with a leadoff double and was pinch run for with Ashley Mrozinski, but two quick outs left her at second and DSU down to its last out. Tally was disciplined at the plate and drew the walk. In the very next at-bat, Alvarez delivered with a single up the middle, scoring Mrozinski and putting the tying run, Tally, at third. An intentional walk to Kaitlin Moore loaded the bases for Amber Adcock. For the second time in postseason play, Adcock was clutch and singled to left field, bringing in Tally and Alvarez to take the 4-3 win, avoiding elimination, and making it to the next game to face Tampa.

Alvarez and Adcock led the offense in game one with two RBI apiece. Senior Miller Maddox earned the win in game one, pitching the complete game, giving up three earned runs on eleven hits, walking four and striking out two.

Already having faced the Spartans in the tournament, the second matchup would determine who would go on to face Valdosta in the championship game.

DSU fell behind early in the contest with Tampa, as the Spartans plated two runs in the first on three hits and one run in the second on three hits.

The pitching styling of Tampa's Kayla Cox held Delta State to just two hits, one each from Moore and Andrea Cutts.

Maddox built on her impressive pitching performance in the postseason by adding 5.1 innings pitched in game two of the afternoon. The Greenville, Miss., native gave up no runs on three hits, while striking out three and walking one. Freshman Taylor Tucker (11-12) suffered the loss.

Head coach Casey Bourgoyne-Charles was extremely proud of her team this year and the way they fought in the postseason. "Each player is a part of history and no one can ever take that from them. They showed toughness and perseverance and turned a lot of heads. It's never easy when your season comes to an end, but this team is special. We are coming home from Tampa with our heads held high and so much to be proud of."  

Delta State ends the season with a 31-31 record overall, eleven more wins that last season, and made history as the first team since 2002 to make an appearance in the NCAA South Region Tournament.
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