VIDEO: Katie Pritchett Interview
VIDEO: Alli Webster Interview
"There's always something special about getting into conference play," head coach Vickee Kazee-Hollifield said. "I feel like the last two or three outings that we've started to come together a little bit more. They were focused and ready to play today."
Carson-Newman smashed four home runs on the day and earned a sweep in its conference-opening doubleheader for a second straight year.
Every Eagle who played reached base and C-N only saw two Queens base runners make it to third on the day.
The Eagles were particularly adept at smashing extra-base hits. C-N finished with an octet of hits that were better than singles. Of the Eagles 21 hits on the day, 38 percent were for extra bases.
C-N went 12-for-34 with runners on base, while Queens was 1-for-16.
"When you go back to the stat sheet and you looked at how many stolen bases they had," Kazee-Hollifield said. "We didn't want to get their lead offs on base. Alli and Lacie helped with that.
"This team is fun to coach because they take direction so well and they are so coachable. They're willing to listen and then they go out and play hard. A true testament of wins is when you come off the field exhausted after a doubleheader."
Game one: Carson-Newman 8, Queens 0 (five innings)
Katie Pritchett (Ringgold, Ga.) jump started the Carson-Newman offense in the second. With two-out, she clobbered a 2-2 pitch to the tippy-top of the pine trees in left field.
The solo home run was the first of the year for her and gave C-N a 1-0 lead.
C-N pounced on a Royal miscue in the third to stretch out the lead. Lacie Rinus (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) smoked a shot to short that Breanna Martinez mishandled with the bases loaded. Instead of being out of the inning, the E6 brought in a run to extend the Eagles lead to 2-0.
C-N then pounded out a pair of two-out hits. Cheyenne Boles (Knoxville, Tenn.) singled to center to drive in two, then Pritchett ripped a double to the left center field gap to score another. When the dust settled, the Eagles had hung a four-spot and had a 5-0 lead.
The Eagles took advantage of more two-out hitting in the fifth. Allison Webster (Charlestown, Ind.) smashed her second career home run to straight away center field. The three-run, two-out dinger was her first bomb in 85 at-bats. It gave the Eagles an 8-0 lead.
Rinus shut the door in the bottom of the fifth to secure the run-rule win. Rinus improved to 11-3 on the year with nine strike outs against two walks. She didn't give up a hit until the fourth inning and only surrendered two on the day.
Courtney Pearson took the loss for Queens to fall to 9-9. She worked three innings and gave up five hits. The Eagles scored five runs off her, but only Pritchett's homer was earned.
The Eagles scored all eight of their runs with two out.
Game two: Carson-Newman 9, Queens 1 (five innings)
The second inning again proved to be the first inning in which Carson-Newman scored in game two. Boles walked to lead off the inning and moved to second on a Pritchett sacrifice. Ashlynn Cooper (Friendsville, Tenn.) tripled for the first time in her career to drive in the run and give C-N a 1-0 advantage.
Much like game one, the Eagles erupted in the third. Kristen Toppel (Roanoke, Va.) smacked her second tater of the season to right center field. After KaraLynne Levi (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) got plunked, Rinus drove a gap shot to left center to score her fellow freshman from three bases away.
Two pitches later, Pritchett cranked her second bomb of the doubleheader to left. That gave the Eagles a 5-0 lead.
The Eagles kept on tagging the ball in the fourth. With the bases loaded, Levi ripped a double down the leftfield line to score two. Then, Boles came through with a two-RBI single to left to send C-N in front 9-0.
Queens made things interesting with an RBI triple from Evie Scott with no one out in the fifth. However, Fiessinger, Taylor Scott (Huntington, W.Va.) and Levi turned a rare 4-3-2 double play to get out of the jam and cement a run-rule win.
Webster tallied her 10th victory of the season with the effort. She surrendered three hits on the day and the one run. Webster struck out two and walked three on the day.
Pearson took the loss after a three-inning start. She allowed seven hits and six runs all earned. Scott fired the final two innings, allowing four hits and three runs.
The Eagles are back in action Tuesday at Mars Hill. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. Coverage will be available on the Eagle Sports Network at cneagles.com/live.