USCB Beaufort left the bases loaded three times in the first four innings, eventually paying the price in a 3-2 softball loss Thursday to Ave Maria that put the Sand Sharks on the brink of elimination from the Sun Conference tournament in Clermont, Fla.
Ave Maria's Sadie Mosher outdueled USCB's Abby Pac as both pitched complete games. Mosher scattered seven hits with six strikeouts over seven innings of work, while Pac also allowed seven hits with nine strikeouts over six innings. USCB wound up leaving 11 runners stranded for the afternoon.
The Sand Sharks fell into an elimination game Friday morning against No.2 seed Southeastern, with potentially two more elimination games waiting later in the day. USCB needs to win all three to reach Saturday's championship round.
Natassja Hatcher's sacrifice fly gave USCB a 1-0 lead in the first, but couldn't push across any more runs, and Ave Maria moved in front on Deanna Stirtzinger's two-run triple in the bottom of the inning.
USCB tied it 2-2 on Emma Erwin's bases-loaded walk in the third, but again left three runners on. The Gyrenes answered again in the bottom of the inning when Alyssa Colding singled and eventually came home on a three-base throwing error.