Reinhardt University of Georgia played small ball almost to perfection in the first inning Friday and dealt Central Baptist College a severe blow to its NAIA championship hopes in softball.
The Eagles (38-12) used a dominating pitching performance from Maddie Monroe on the way to a 3-0 victory over the Lady Mustangs (51-6) in the second round of pool play in the NAIA national tournament at Gulf Shores, Ala.
The champions of eight pools begin a double-elimination tournament Monday for the national title. To have a chance at that, the Lady Mustangs must defeat Lee College of Tennessee, which is undefeated in two games, on Saturday afternoon and hope Reinhardt, a small institution north of Atlanta, loses to Morningside of Iowa, a team CBC run-ruled in an 8-0 vcitory Thursday.
The Eagles used the bunt skillfully and proficiency in scoring the only three runs of the game in the first inning.
Nikki Roddy and Lindsey Booker led off with bunt singles. An error, a sacrifice bunt anda sacrifice fly produced the three runs.
Monroe (21-8) scattered four hits and struck out eight. Natalye Chudy of Conway had two of those hits. Reann Surrett had the other.
Jessica Bock pitched a strong game for the Lady Mustangs, striking out four and allowing four hits (two of them in the first) over seven innings.