#Unfinished: Lady Scots advance to semi-finals in USA South Tournament
In a historic season, the Lady Scots softball team traveled to Rocky Mount, NC for their first ever bid since moving to the USA South Conference. The scots climb for the most wins since 2007 resulted in a campaign that reached all the way to the semi-finals of the conference championship.
As a result of their 25-17 mark in the regular season, the Lady Scots advanced to the tournament in their campaign titled #unfinished by inspiration from player Alexus Murray. In the first round of the tournament, MC blazed passed the Huntindgon College Hawks with a 5-4 win. Maryville was led by junior Jessica McMahan who went 3-for-4 with a run scored and sophomore Savannah Cook who went 2-for-4 and two runs. Freshman Casey Joliff pitched the win from the mound allowing only five hits and two runs while striking out two batters and walking one while playing 4.2 innings.
The Lady Scots continued to blaze their trail at the tournament as Joliff continued to pitch winners. Blasting a solo home run to left-center field to pushed the scots onward to the semi-finals. The freshman had only allowed one hit with a run and an RBI while striking out three batters in their game against N.C. Wesleyan. With Jollif’s lead, the Lady Scots triumphed over N.C. Wesleyan 4-3 to advance to the semi-finals of the tournament.
Originally ranked number eleven in the pre-season polls, MC proved that they came to prove conference officials wrong this season. The stakes were high along with the emotions of all the players for the Lady Scots team. After fighting hard all season to set the record straight, they had well-earned a shot at the conference title in their unfinished season. MC went up against Ferrum in the semi-finals.
Both teams struggled in the first two innings with neither team scoring any runs. In the third inning, Ferrum scored the first three runs of the game in the bottom of the third with back to back RBIs. Ferrum led the game 3-0 going into the fourth inning. Joliff scored the Lady Scots only home run in the game by blasting a ball to left center field.
Ferrum continued to battle back in both the bottom of the fifth and sixth with two more home runs bringing the score to 5-1 over the Lady Scots. With their battle against Ferrum, the Lady Scots season came to an end.
Although they did not advance to the conference finals, the 2015-2016 Lady Scots softball team left their mark on MC Athletics and the USA South Conference. Head Coach Leah Kelly led the softball team not only to the most wins in nine years, but also earned the first conference Coach of the Year Award for Maryville since 2007.
Six Lady Scots players were given honors for their turn-around season. After a grand season, McMahan earned the First Team All-Conference accolade with 37 runs, 60 hits and 22 stolen bases. Next for MC, Cook and Murray earned Second Team All-Conference while Rachel Taylor, Jenna Roberts and Morgan Corland earned Honorable mentions.
The team now sees off their senior leaders Emily Craven, Megan Mihaliak and Kayla Aliosi who led MC throughout their historic season. Also supporting the scots was fifth-year Caitlin Hogg who assisted coaching the Lady Scots with her words of wisdom from her previous years of conference play. With determination, the Lady Scots look to fight back even harder next season to continue leaving their mark on the USA South conference.