Lancers softball clinch Big South
Published 1:00 pm Wednesday, May 10, 2023
Longwood softball needed one more win to earn the honor of Big South regular season champion. On Senior Day, they got it.
The seniors led the way, and the rest of the team followed in a 7-4 comeback win against Campbell on Sunday afternoon. The win gave Longwood the series win, culminating in a regular season that saw the Lancers never drop a conference series.
Longwood (29-19, 15-5) has now won back-to-back regular season championships for the second time since joining the Big South in 2013. The win also guarantees Longwood the top seed in the Big South Tournament.
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Down 4-3 in the bottom of the sixth, the Lancers rallied. With one out and Leigha Hill at second base, Jaden Pone cranked an RBI double over the right fielder’s head which brought Hill home. Kayley DeVivi hit a sacrifice fly to the right, and a pair of runs came home for a 6-4 lead. Korynna Anderson capped the rally with a RBI single to extend the lead to three.
“I think we should have Senior Weekend every weekend”, Longwood coach Dr. Megan Brown said with a smile. “I told them to take all their passion and all of their energy and everything and just zero in on the middle of the ball and just start putting them out there. They did their thing, and I got to watch.”
A REMATCH FOR LONGWOOD SOFTBALL
The series was a rematch of last year’s Big South Championship Tournament final. The two sides split a doubleheader on Saturday after Campbell (38-15, 15-5) won the opening game and Longwood won game two.
In the series finale, Campbell struck first, but the senior trio of Hill, Anderson and Lindsey Hay led the charge back to give Longwood a 3-2 lead after three innings.
Campbell retook the lead in the fifth, but Er’ron Burton limited the damage in the circle. The sophomore earned the win with three strong innings. She retired six straight to end the game and gave her offense a chance to rally.
Now Longwood has its sights set on a sixth Big South Tournament title.
“We are thankful for the journey and hopefully it’s just starting,” said Brown. “You know the top four teams in this conference are there for a reason. Everyone shows up, everyone goes blow for blow. So it’s going to be a dog fight.”
The Lancers will play on Thursday in the first round of the Big South Tournament. All tournament games will be played at Radford, and all games will be aired on ESPN+. The Big South will post the full tournament brackets later this evening.