Panthers fall to Piedmont in extra innings in GSAC championship game

Panthers fall to Piedmont in extra innings in GSAC championship game

Piedmont's Rebecca Renfroe ended the Panthers' three-year string of GSAC tournament championships with a home run to lead off the bottom of the eighth inning. The top-seeded Lady Lions (29-10) will receive the GSAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III national tournament.

Renfroe and Emily Cheek hit solo home runs off Panther starter Shanna Brumbelow in the first inning to give the Lady Lions a 2-0 lead. Kayla Folds (6-5) relieved Brumbelow after Cheek's home run and went the rest of the way for the Panthers.

The Panthers came back with three runs in the fourth off tournament MVP B.J. Cofer to go up 3-2. Katie Ison and Valeree Williams led off the inning with back-to-back home runs to tie the game.

The Panthers took advantage of two Piedmont errors to score the go-ahead run. Brumbelow and Laura Webber reached on errors. Pinch-runner Olivia McGehee later scored on a passed ball to make it 3-2.

The Panthers held the lead until the fifth inning. Renfroe tied the game for Piedmont with a two-out single. The Lady Lions were aided by a pair of Panther errors in the inning.

The game was the final game for seniors Holly Hazelwood, Valeree Williams and Kayla Yeargin. The trio helped the Panthers win three straight GSAC tournament titles and trips to the NCAA national tournament.