The 12th-ranked Lenoir-Rhyne Softball Team (48-12) moved into the finals of the 2012 NCAA Division II Southeast Regional Tournament after splitting its two games on Saturday. L-R fell to Flagler (36-17), 2-0, before shutting out No. 9 Armstrong Atlantic State (45-11), 4-0, in an elimination game. Lenoir-Rhyne will now face Flagler in the regional championship
game Sunday beginning at Noon and will have to defeat the Saints twice to advance to the Super Regionals for the third straight year.
In the opener, Flagler's Donna Munafo (Satellite Beach, Fla.) threw her second consecutive shutout in the regionals in leading the Saints to the championship game on Sunday. Munafo fired a one-hitter to go along with eight strikeouts in improving to 18-5 on the season Munafo allowed only a first-inning single to Lenoir-Rhyne sophomore third baseman Haily Jarman (Wadesboro, N.C.).
Flagler, the seventh seed, scored the game's lone two runs in the top of the third inning on consecutive walks to Hayley Craven (St. Johns, Fla.) and Kristen Chapman (Jacksonville, Fla.) with the bases loaded.
Senior Dawon Millwood (Hixson, Tenn.) suffered the loss for the third-seeded Bears, who saw their 10-game winning streak come to an end.
In game two, Millwood (34-7) fired a two-hitter as the Bears stayed alive in the regional tournament with a victory over the host and second-seeded Pirates in the final contest of the day. Millwood also struck out two batters in delivering her 18th shutout of the season and second in as many days for the Bears.
L-R broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth inning on an RBI double by Jarman before breaking the contest open with three runs in the sixth. Senior second baseman Carlee Carpenter (Newton, N.C.) and Jarman came through with run-scoring singles before junior first baseman Jessica Fellmeth (Waxhaw, N.C.) rounded out the scoring with an RBI sacrifice fly. Jarman led the Bears with two hits and two runs batted in while Megan Barnwell (Booklet, Ga.) fell to 21-5 after suffering the defeat on the mound for Armstrong Atlantic State.
Photo Courtesy: Haily Jarman, L-R Athletics