Softball Heads Into Championship Sunday Unbeaten - One Win Away From Second Straight Title

Softball Heads Into Championship Sunday Unbeaten - One Win Away From Second Straight Title

Carly White went the distance for her third win in as many starts in the tournament as No. 4 seed University of Mount Olive clinched a spot in the championship game with a 4-1 victory over second-seeded King in the winner's bracket final of the 2014 Conference Carolinas Softball Tournament Saturday at Burlington, N.C. The win extended the Trojans' current winning streak to nine and was the eighth in a row in the conference tournament, dating back to last year.

Earlier Saturday, Lauren McGrath's two-run infield single tied the game and Beth Overman's bases-loaded two-run double capped a four-run fifth inning and put University of Mount Olive ahead to stay as the fourth-seeded Trojans rallied for a 6-2 victory over top-seeded Limestone. White picked up the win and Madison Johnston pitched the final three innings for the save.

Against Limestone, Mount Olive (23-24) trailed 2-0 after allowing two unearned runs in the first inning and was held to one hit through four scoreless innings before erupting in the fifth. After Jennifer Jones drew a one-out walk, White drove the first pitch off the 225-foot mark on the fence in straightaway centerfield for a double. Pinch-runners Hannah Woodard and Megan Ready both scored on McGrath's bad-hop infield single to the right side to tie the game 2-2.

Singles by Kelsey Akers and Ashleigh Mason loaded the bases, and Overman broke the tie on her drive that bounced just in front of the centerfield fence to give Mount Olive a 4-2 lead. Caitlin Ewers and Kalie Smith added bases-loaded rbi-singles in the top of the seventh.

After facing seven batters in the first inning, White (9-5) allowed only a single baserunner in each of the next three innings on two walks and a single. Johnston's save was her second of the season.

In the battle of the two remaining unbeaten teams in the tournament, White took a two-hit shutout into the bottom of the sixth inning before King collected three base hits and scored its lone run of the game. White retired the side in order in the bottom of the seventh.

White helped her own cause again, driving in Savannah Becker with the first run of the game on an rbi-groundout in the top of the second. The Trojans extended the lead to 3-0 in the third on rbi-singles by Becker and Katie Moore. Mount Olive took advantage of a fielding error and a wild pitch to add a run in the sixth.

This year's conference tournament is in direct contrast to last year's tournament for Mount Olive, which had to win four consecutive elimination games to reach the title game. The Trojans need just one win Sunday to capture their second consecutive title.

The Trojans will play Sunday at 1 p.m. against the winner of the elimination game between Limestone and King. The winner of that game would have to defeat Mount Olive twice. The tournament champion earns an automatic bid to the Southeast Regional of the 2014 NCAA Division II Softball Championship.