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COLLEGE SOFTBALL: Berry splits to advance to championship game

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Berry Athletics

Led by a nine run sixth inning, including a grand slam by Kylie Aiken, the Berry College softball team defeated Emory & Henry 15-3 on Saturday, advancing to the NCAA Regional Championship against Transylvania University.

The Vikings also set a new program record with their 40th victory on the year. Berry will look to take two off Transylvania beginning at noon. Berry’s bats came alive against the Wasps, stringing together 19 hits en route to the run-rule victory. Led by Kylie Aiken’s grand slam in the top of the sixth, Berry rattled off nine runs and seven hits in the sixth alone.

Needing two wins on championship today is a situation that the Vikings are not unfamiliar with. In the last two seasons, Berry has been in the exact same spot but has never been able to make it out of the regional bracket.

Earlier in the day the Vikings were defeated by Transylvania 6-0. The Vikings threatened to score in the bottom of the first inning as Transylvania pitcherRenae Morton’s walked three to load the bases. But the junior struck out two batters to escape the inning with all three runners stranded.

Berry coach Cori Thiermann will make the decision to send Kassie Howard or Marie Collop to the circle for Game 6. Howard has a perfect 0.00 ERA in the tournament and has fanned 13 batters which leads all pitchers. Collop has a 3.50 ERA in her 4.0 innings of work this tournament, striking out eight.

The matchup will mark the third consecutive season that the Vikings are playing on Championship today and the first in Transylvania history.