CLINTON, Miss. - Haley Brannon's sacrifice fly in the first inning was all the run support Maddie Monroe would need as the No. 8 Reinhardt University softball team defeated LSU-Alexandria, 1-0, in the second game of the Belhaven Bracket as part of the NAIA Opening Round.
The Lady Eagles (41-6) scored the game's only run after a walk to Shelby Sinclair started the bottom of the first. Sinclair stole second, moved to third on an Alexis Chumbler sacrifice bunt, then scored when Brannon lifted the first pitch she saw into left field for a sacrifice fly.
Monroe allowed six hits but struck out six batters. Her strikeout to start the fifth inning gave her 200 for the season, the second time in her career she's reached that threshold. The Calhoun, Ga., native did not walk anyone in improving to 25-1 on the season.
Still, LSU-A (22-29) gaves the Lady Eagles plenty of trouble. Never was that more evident than in the seventh inning. After a leadoff single, the Lady Eagles threw the ball away on a sacrifice bunt attempt to put runners on second and third with no one out. Monroe buckled down to get the win for the Lady Eagles. After a pop out to shallow left for the first out, the senior tallied her sixth strikeout to record the second out. On a 1-2 pitch, Monroe induced a ground out to third to end the game and give RU the win.
The Lady Eagles will be back in action Tuesday afternoon at 1 p.m. against Belhaven in a winner's bracket contest. The winner of that game will automatically move to play Wednesday for the right to advance to the finals in Columbus, Ga.