Averett Softball wins USA South Softball crown; Aherron named MVP
LAGRANGE, Ga. (WSET/Averett Cougars) - The Averett Cougars softball team is celebrating a 2017 USA South Conference Tournament championship, edging Ferrum 8-7 in eight innings to win its second conference tournament title in program history.
Averett (28-18) overcame multiple deficits during the game, en route to the victory. Down to their final two outs in the top of the seventh, Sophomore Andrea Grant smacked a one-out double, setting up Amanda Wright who blasted an inside-the-park home run to tie the game at 7.
Sophomore Essence Pulliam led off the eighth with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Long then drew a walk. After another sac bunt put both runners in scoring position, Aherron drew a two-out walk to load the bases. The Cougars then got the break they needed. Pulliam scored the go-ahead run thanks to a Ferrum wild pitch to give Averett an 8-7 lead - its first of the game.
With the tying run in scoring position and the winning run aboard in the bottom of the eighth inning, Dan River alum and tournament MVP Kaitlyn Aherron threw strike three for the final out to clinch Averett's third NCAA Tournament berth in program history.
"This team never gives up," Aherron said. "I've never been on a team that has had this much heart before. They never give up. That's what it takes to win."
The Cougars will now wait several weeks to find out who they will face and where they will travel for the NCAA Regional, which will be held the second weekend in May.
2017 USA South Conference Softball All-Tournament Team
- UT - Amanda Wright, Averett
- C - Breanna Murphy, Averett
- P - Kaitlyn Aherron, Averett (MVP)
- P - Courtney Rudd, Ferrum
- 1B - Amber Coffin, Ferrum
- 2B - Maddie Ols, Ferrum
- SS - Jessica Long, Averett
- 3B - Andrea Grant, Averett
- OF - Essence Pulliam, Averett
- OF - Tiffanie Moore, Ferrum
- OF - Ashton Hayden, Maryville