Decatur, Ala. – The College of Coastal Georgia women's softball team was eliminated from the Southern States Athletic Conference tournament Saturday morning with a 7-2 loss to Mobile.
With the loss, the fourth-seeded Mariners (35-21) finished the tournament with a 2-2 record. Coastal Georgia defeated fifth-seeded Faulkner 3-1 Thursday in its tournament opener before falling Friday afternoon to second-ranked and top-seeded Brenau 5-2. The Mariners bounced back to defeat Faulkner again by 6-0 Friday evening to make it to Saturday.
The No. 20 Rams (37-16), who defeated Coastal Georgia in Mobile by 1-0 and 2-0 in the regular season, advanced to play seventh-ranked William Carey to see which team would face Brenau for the championship. The Mobile-William Carey winner would have to beat the Golden Tigers twice to win the tournament crown as Brenau won its first three games here to reach the final of the double-elimination tournament.
The two teams that play for the league tournament title will earn automatic bids to the national tournament next month. The three remaining teams are all in the national rankings and figured to earn bids to the national tournament regardless of their finish this week at the league tournament.
Coastal Georgia will now wait to see if it will earn an at-large bid to next month's NAIA national tournament. It would be the first-ever bid for the Mariners who have set a school record for wins in a season including several over teams currently ranked in the Top 25. The Mariners finished fourth in the always-tough SSAC during the regular season and their two wins this week at the league tournament were the first for the program after the team lost its opening two games in the double-elimination affair the last two seasons.
The Mariners fell behind 5-0 in the first inning Saturday as the Rams batted around in their first at-bat, scoring the five runs on four hits with the help of two Coastal Georgia errors. The big blow of the inning was a three-run double by Meagan Walding, the eighth batter in the inning.
Coastal Georgia scored its first run in the top of the second on a sacrifice fly that scored Reilly Oliver who reached on an error with one out in the inning.
The Rams added two more runs in the fifth for a 7-1 cushion.
The Mariners did add a second run in the top of the seventh to make for the final score. Ceejay Ham led off the inning with a double and pinch runner Morgan Cobb would later score on a single by Kensey Solomon who entered the game as a pinch hitter.
Dawn Stewart took the pitching loss for the Mariners. She worked into the fifth before giving way to Chloe Boulineau who finished out the game. Stewart allowed three earned runs on eight hits while striking out one and walking two.
Sydney O'Connor got the win for the Rams as she worked the first four frames. She gave up the one unearned run while surrendering just two hits, striking out five and walking one.
Karley Sanders pitched the final three innings to earn the save for Mobile, holding the Mariners to the one run in the seventh. She gave up four hits while striking out one and walking none.
Katie McGinnis was 2-for-2 for the Mariners at the plate. Olivia Husted and Paige Alt also hit safely for the Mariners along with Ham who had the double in the seventh and Solomon who drove in the run for the Mariners in their last at-bat.