If the Lady Eagles win today’s game at 2 p.m. against either regional host Belhaven or LSU Alexandria, they will advance to the NAIA finals which begin May 24 in Columbus. A loss would force Reinhardt into an elimination game immediately after.
Maddie Monroe’s pitching dominance proved to be the difference in both games as Reinhardt (42-6) outscored LSU Alexandria and Belhaven by a combined 9-0.
Monroe, who started both games, improved to 26-1 on the season.
In Tuesday’s five-inning 8-0 win over Belhaven, which sent Reinhardt into the regional championship, Monroe allowed just four hits, while striking out three.
The Lady Eagles also showed their powerful offense with a five-run first inning.
Consecutive singles by Shelby Sinclair and former Creekview High School standouts Alexis Chumbler and Haley Brannon loaded the bases before Kelsey Floyd’s groundout drove in Sinclair for the first run of the game. Chumbler and Brannon came around to score on a single by Kaley Garmon, and after Katie Blair was hit by a pitch, Lindsey Booker doubled to drive in Garmon and Blair for the 5-0 lead.
Reinhardt tacked on another run in the fourth as Chumbler, who reached on a bunt, made her way around the bases and on a series of wild pitches.
The Lady Eagles ended the game in the fifth by scored a pair of quick runs.
Blair singled to lead off and Tyler Sampson put down a bunt, but an error on the play allowed her to reach safely and Blair to advance to third. Amber Herrington, another Creekview product, entered to run for Blair but didn’t stay on the base long as a double steal was executed to perfection.
Sampson moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Kandi Gates before Booker lined a ball to center field to drive in game-ending run.
In its opening game Monday, Reinhardt did just enough to squeeze out a 1-0 victory over LSU Alexandria.
Brannon’s sacrifice fly plated Sinclair, who drew a walk, stole second and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt, for the only run of the game in the first inning.
Monroe earned the win, striking out six batters — including her 200th of the season — and allowed six hits.