Courtesy: Finlandia University
The Finlandia softball team traveled to Atlanta, GA as defending Great South Athletic Conference tournament champions with plans on repeating that feat. The Lions are off to a great start as they defeated Trinity Washington University (Washington D.C.) and Salem College (NC).In the first game of the day, Finlandia scored a run in each of the first two innings. In the first inning, senior Alexis Lawley (Pell City, AL) started things off with a base hit. Senior Adrianna Osuna (Gilroy, CA) reached base on an error and Lawley scored an unearned run. Senior Alyson Herman (Riverside, CA) started the second inning off with a base hit to right field. She then advanced to second base on a foul out to the short stop by freshman Hillary Brewer (Harrison, MI). Herman then scored an unearned run when freshman Amanda Youker (Buckley, MI) reached base on an error.The Lions got another run in the fourth inning as Herman started things off with a single to right field. She advanced to second base on a ground out by Hillary Brewer . Youker got the RBI when she singled to right center to score Herman.In the fifth inning, Finlandia's bats came alive as the Lions scored 5 runs. Sophomore MJ Huffman (Battle Ground, WA) started the inning off with a base hit and then advanced to second base on the throw. She scored on a base hit up the middle by Lawley. Next, Osuna hit a monster 2-run homer to left field. Junior Breanna Hynes (Victoria, British Columbia) reached base on a throwing error by the second baseman and advanced to second on that error. Hillary Brewer doubled down the left field line, with one out, and advanced to third on a throwing error by the left fielder. Hynes scored giving Brewer the RBI. Youker got a base hit back to the pitcher and Brewer scored, unearned. That final run won the game for Finlandia on the mercy rule, as the final score was 8-0.Pitching a 2 hit shut-out in the first game for Finlandia was sophomore Miranda Brewer (Harrison,MI). She ended the game with 5 innings pitched, gave up 2 hits, 1 walk, and 9 strikeouts.The second game for Finlandia found them against the second seed, Salem College. It was all Finlandia early on, but Salem made it interesting towards the end.Both teams scored a run in the first inning. Senior India Slayback (Belle Center, OH) started things off with a walk; she then advanced to second as Huffman reached on an error by the first baseman. Lawley advanced the runners a base as she was thrown out at first. Osuna gets the RBI when she flied out to left field and Slayback tagged up and scored.The Lions added three runs in the second inning after the first two batters made outs. Youker started with a double, followed by sophomore Ayla Sulley (Missouri Valley, IA) reaching on an error. After advancing to third, Youker scored on the throw. Slayback then singled, advancing Sulley to second. Huffman singled, earning an RBI as Sulley scored and Slayback advanced to second. Lawley doubled scoring Slayback and advanced Huffman to third.The two teams went scoreless until the sixth inning, where both teams put a 6-spot up on the scoreboard. Sulley walked to get things started for the Lions and then stole second base. Slayback then earned a walk, and Sulley and Slayback each advanced a base on a wild pitch. Huffman doubled scoring both runners. Lawley followed that up with a single and advanced Huffman to third. Herman walked, which moved Lawley up to second base. Hynes doubled in Huffman and Lawley, while Herman moved up to third. Hillary Brewer singled, scoring Herman and Hynes.After scoring the 6 runs in the top of the sixth inning, things were looking good for the Lions as they had a 10-1 lead over Salem. The Lions just needed to get through the bottom half of the inning with an 8 run lead and the game would be over, unfortunately Salem had other plans. After getting 2 outs early, Salem matched the 6 runs Finlandia scored in the top half of the inning to extend the game.The Lions didn't score in the top half of the seventh inning, and again Salem scored their runs after getting two outs. They scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh before the Lions shut them down and came away with a 10-9 victory to move on.With the two wins today, Finlandia advances to the semi-final game on Saturday versus the top seed and tournament host Agnes Scott College. The game is scheduled to start at 2:00 p.m. EST at the Georgia Tech softball field. Those fans wanting to see the game but can't attend can watch a live video stream at www.fulions.com .