Former Carroll County standout Cheyenne Strickland has been named the USA South Conference Tournament MVP after leading Ferrum College to the conference’s tournament championship on Sunday.
Strickland, a freshman from Carroll County, hit a three-run home run Sunday in the conference tournament championship game, a 10-1 win over Averett on Sunday afternoon. The conference’s fifth-seeded team, Ferrum had to win six games in three days, including three games on Sunday to win the tournament title and earn an NCAA Division III Tournament berth.
Strickland, Ferrum’s starting shortstop, was named the tournament’s MVP thanks in large part to her five hits, 4 RBI, two runs, and one homer over the three games Sunday.
The Panthers played the whole weekend with their backs against the wall after dropping their opening game 3-2 to fourth-seeded Averett on Friday in the double-elimination tournament. Ferrum stayed alive in their second game Friday, a 7-5 win over No. 8-seed William Peace.
The Panthers kept the momentum going with a pair of wins Saturday, defeating third-seeded N.C. Wesleyan 4-3 and sixth-seeded Greensboro 7-2 in elimination games. Strickland went 2-for-2 with a run and an RBI in the win over N.C. Wesleyan and she added a hit and a run in the win over Greensboro.
On Sunday, Strickland went 1-for-3 with an RBI as Ferrum knocked off No. 2-seed Maryville 5-1 to reach the championship round. But since Averett had not yet lost in the conference tournament, the Panthers still had to beat the team twice to capture the tournament title.
Ferrum stayed alive with a tight 3-2 win in the first game Sunday, setting up a winner-take-all showdown between the two teams. Led by Strickland’s three-run homer, the Panthers prevailed 10-1 in five innings to capture Ferrum’s fourth USA South Conference Tournament championship in school history. The former Carroll star went 3-for-4 with two runs and 3 RBI in the championship game.
Allen Worrell can be reached at (276) 779-4062 or on Twitter@AWorrellTCN