ANDERSON, S.C. – The No. 19-ranked Armstrong Atlantic State University softball squad advanced to the NCAA Division II Southeast Super Regional with a 6-1 win over USC Aiken on Sunday afternoon at Smethers Field in Anderson, S.C.
The third-seeded Pirates (33-12) advance to face the top-seeded and No. 2-ranked North Georgia Nighthawks – 2-1 winners over Wingate in the Southeast Regional #1 final on Sunday – in a best-of-three Super Regional on May 16-17 in Dahlonega, Ga. The winner of the Super Regional advances to the NCAA Division II Softball Championships in Salem, Va., on May 22-26. Sixth-seeded USC Aiken sees its season come to a close with a 34-16 record.
USC Aiken started off the scoring in the bottom of the first inning as Ashley Metts delivered an RBI single to put the Pacers up, 1-0.
The Pirates took the lead in the top of the third inning on junior Lacye Walker‘s three-run home run. Armstrong then tacked on two more runs in the top of the fourth inning on senior Kacie Patterson‘s two-run blast to center field.
Patterson then added an RBI single in the top of the fifth inning to cap the scoring for the Pirates.
Ollivia McLemore (22-5) picked up her third win of the regional by limiting the Pacers to three hits and one run in six innings of work, walking one while striking out six. Taylor Morgan (10-11) took the loss for the Pacers, giving up seven hits and six runs in seven innings of work, walking seven while striking out five.
Walker went 2-for-3 with her home run and three RBIs, while Patterson also had two hits and three RBI. Magan Thrower had two hits to lead the Pacers.
The Pirates advance to their second straight NCAA Southeast Super Regional. Last season, Armstrong won the Super Regional to advance to the program’s first NCAA DII Softball National Championships, finishing third.