SPARTANBURG, SC – The Richard Bland College of William & Mary softball team made both USC Salkehatchie and USC Sumter sweat out victories on Sunday afternoon as the Statesmen rallied in the 7th inning of both games, falling just short -- 4-3 to Salkehatchie and 7-4 to Sumter in the elimination game -- at the Region X Tournament at North Spartanburg Park.
The No. 4 seeded Statesmen took No. 2 seed Salkehatchie to the brink in Sunday's opener, and in the elimination game saw No. 6 seed Sumter come from back a 4-1 deficit to earn a tight 7-4 victory. Against Sumter, RBC loaded the bases with two outs and had the go-ahead run at the plate in the 7th inning.
Richard Bland finishes the 2019 season 17-23. Salkehatchie (35-23) and Sumter (20-22) will play in the Region X Championship game with the winner advancing to the NJCAA Division I National Tournament at Canyons Complex in St. George, Utah on May 22-25, 2019.
Against Sumter, the Statesmen jumped out to a 3-1 lead after the first inning and led 4-1 after four innings. Sumter, which had upset No. 1 seed Spartanburg Methodist to continue its championship aspirations, rallied for four runs in the 5th and two more in the 6th to build its lead. The never-quit Statesmen were able to load the bases in the 7th but Sumter induced a game-ending ground out.
Katie Haney had two of RBC's six hits against Sumter.
In the opening game against Salkehatchie, the Statesmen couldn't quite erase a 4-0 deficit, but came narrowly close with three runs in the top of the 7th inning to make a seemingly easy Salkehatchie victory anything but secure. The runs were manufactured by off keen at-bats that saw RBC earn three walks in the 7th and key RBI from Erin Doyle and Taylor Bilyard, who singled to right to bring RBC within 4-3 and complete her 2-for-4 day at the plate.