Redhawks Win in Walk-Off Fashion at Day One of OVC Tourney
May 7, 2009
JACKSONVILLE, Ala. (Thursday, May 7, 2009) – Carmen Fowler dug into the batter’s box in the bottom of the seventh inning. With two outs and the winning run on second base, Fowler drilled an Alex Gjevre pitch to left field to plate pinch runner Sirena Watkins for the walk-off, winning run. The run gave the No. 2 seed Redhawks a 1-0 win over No. 3 seed Morehead State in the quarterfinals of the Ohio Valley Conference Softball Tournament at University Field on the campus of host school Jacksonville State on Thursday afternoon.
After both teams battled for six scoreless innings, Nicole Troncoso collected a one-out double to leftfield to put the winning run on base. The speedy Watkins replaced Troncoso. Elise Sperakos then lined out to leftfield for the second out of the inning. That set the stage for Fowler’s dramatics, her second walk-off hit of the season.
The game featured two of the top pitchers in the OVC as Redhawks (28-19) freshman ace Giana Zimmerman and Gjevre, last season’s OVC pitcher of the year, locked up for yet another classic match-up.
Zimmerman (18-8) gave up a single to Bri Jones to start the game, then preceded to retire 17 of the next 18 batters before Jones collected the Eagles (35-19) second hit of the game with two outs in the sixth inning. That hit became null and void after Second Team All-OVC catcher Alex Ramirez threw her out as she attempted to steal second for the final out of the inning.
Zimmerman’s masterpiece continued in the seventh inning as she retired the Eagles in order. In all she retired 19 of the 22 batters she faced as only one Eagles runner made it to second base.
She won her 11th-straight start as she pitched her 21st complete game and second shutout of the season allowing just two hits. She didn’t walk a single batter while fanning two.
She improved to 2-1 against the Eagles and Gjevre this season. In three starts vs. the Eagles this season she has compiled an ERA of 0.30 allowing just two runs (one earned) in 23.2 innings.
Gjevre fell to 25-10 on the year as she allowed one run on four hits in 6.2 innings.
Fowler went 1-3 and extended her hitting streak to four games. She is tied for the team lead with three game winning RBIs.
Troncoso continued her dominance against Eagles pitching as she went 1-3. For the season she is batting .385 against the Eagles.
Sperakos and Ramirez collected the other two Redhawks hits. Ramirez also was key behind the plate as she threw out Jones twice as she attempted to steal second.
Jones went 2-3 and reached base three times.
It was the Redhawks fourth walk-off win of the season and they improved to 13-4 in one-run games.
The 16-straight wins ties the Redhawks with streaks by both the 1998 and 1986 teams.
The Redhawks will now face the No. 5 seed, Tennessee Tech tomorrow in the semifinal game of the double elimination tournament. The Golden Eagles upset No. 1 seed Jacksonville State in the final game of the evening on Thursday. The Redhawks are 1-2 this season against the Golden Eagles.