Sunday, May 1, 2016
Tuskegee wins third consecutive conference championship
Following the final out of a 10-8 victory in the championship game, the 2016 version of the Lady Golden Tigers made the most of the opportunity on Saturday afternoon after winning their third consecutive conference championship – defeating Miles at Lovejoy Regional Park.
Colvin turned to senior Karisa Foye (6-5) in the circle on Saturday and she did not disappoint. The tournament’s Most Valuable Player struck out five out of the first six batters she faced and recorded the win after the Lady Golden Tigers took the lead in the fourth inning. The senior allowed five runs – just one earned – all in the fourth inning.
After Miles took a 5-2 lead and looked poised to push the tournament to an “if” game, Tuskegee turned to their bats that came into the tournament hitting over .300. The Lady Golden Tigers answered the five-spot from Miles with a six-spot of their own to take an 8-5 lead heading down the stretch.
Sharde Thomas drove home Cari Driver in the bottom of the fourth inning to trim the deficit to a pair, and later scored on a throwing error from Miles to trim the deficit to 5-4. From there, the rally was on for the Lady Golden Tigers.
Tuskegee tied the game on a single by Kenyah Smith to right scoring Chante Warner, and took the lead when Foye reached on an infield single that scored Kaylin Finch. Tuskegee scored their last two runs of the inning when Roneshia Rudolph doubled to the left field corner to put the Lady Golden Tigers ahead 8-5.
Colvin turned to Toni Beth Garner in the fifth inning, picking up a three-inning save; the first of her career. The junior, who defeated Miles Friday, allowed three runs off of four hits, while striking out three and keeping the bats of Miles at bay.
After Miles scored a run in the fifth to make it a two-run game, Tuskegee scored a pair of runs in the sixth for insurance – building a 10-6 lead.
The celebration began in the dugout in the bottom of the sixth inning, but had t
o wait as Miles scored a pair of runs in the seventh inning. However, with a runner at second and two strikes on the batter, a high fly ball was squeezed by senior first baseman Haley Plato in foul territory sending off the jubilation from the Lady Golden Tigers and their fans.
Dating back to 2004, Tuskegee is the first team to win three consecutive Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) championships. The Lady Golden Tigers had four players on the All-Tournament team, which included Foye, Thomas, Garner and Finch.
Tuskegee will find out their opponent and site for the upcoming NCAA Division II Regional next week on Monday morning. The NCAA Selection Show is at 10 am (est) on NCAA.com.
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