Winthrop's Eagles hit North Carolina A&T with an eight-run fifth inning Sunday and coasted to a 12-2 victory and the Gold Division championship of the Winthrop/adidas Invitational in a game that was shortened to five innings because of the 10-run mercy rule.
The Eagles improved to 16-10 with their eighth straight victory.
Memphis won the Silver Division title based its pool play record. Because of Saturday's afternoon thunderstorms, officials decided not to play the pool championships.
Winthrop had scored early and often in the first games, but N.C. A&T starter Sasha Philpot kept the Eagles at bay with a variety of pitches delivered from a herky-jerky motion.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Herald
"You've got to give her credit," Winthrop coach Mark Cooke said as he accepted congratulations from the Winthrop faithful. "She threw at a speed we hadn't seen and that kept us off balance."
Still, the Eagles were able to score three runs in the second on a bases-clearing double by third baseman Pearl Coleshill.
The Lady Aggies, winless in their four tournament games, stayed close and trailed 4-2 going into the fifth. That's when the bottom fell out for Philpot and freshman reliever Jennifer Luper, a former standout at Fort Mill.
Mallory Hogan, who earned all-tournament honors with seven hits in four games, drew a walk from Philpot to open the fifth.
Lenny Stoddart stroked a single to left and Jo-Lynn Smith reached on a fielder's choice to load the bases. The Lady Aggies got the force out at home on a grounder by Lauren Levin.
Katie Smith poked a pinch-hit single to left field to make it 5-2. That's when A&T coach Earnest Washington put in the call to Luper, who was 6-1.
Luper walked Coleshill on four pitches to drive in another run, her fourth RBI of the day. Tessa Thomas followed with a bases-clearing single to center. Later in the inning, Stephanie Reid tripled to center, driving in Lisa Kingsmore, who had walked, and Thomas to make it 11-2.
Hogan, who led off the inning with a walk, then singled to right, driving in Reid to make it 12-2.
Luper was touched for four earned runs on four hits in just two-thirds of an inning. She also walked two.
"I think they wanted it more than we did at the beginning of the game," Hogan said when asked about her team's slow start Sunday. "We can't afford to get off to starts like that when we get into (Big South Conference) play because we know we'll have a target on our backs and every team we play will be ready."
Cooke used all three of his pitchers against the Lady Aggies.
Cari Wooldridge got the start and allowed two runs on six hits. She walked one and struck out one in 3 innings, but didn't figure in the decision.
Megan Evans (8-4) came on in the fourth inning and picked up the win. Last season's BSC freshman of the year was named the tournament's most valuable pitcher. Izzy Trottier finished up.
Kingsmore, the tournament's most valuable player, saw her hitting streak end at 20 games with a 0-for-2 effort, but she did draw a pair of walks.
"To me, a walk is like a hit because you get on base," Kingsmore said.
Kingsmore finished the weekend going 7-for-12 (.583) with four runs, three doubles and four RBIs.
Winthrop returns to Terry Field on Thursday with a doubleheader against Georgia Tech. The first game begins at 2 p.m.
Furman 1, Charlotte 0
Memphis 6, Vermont 1
Memphis 5, Furman 0
Vermont 4, Providence 2 (8)
Albany 2, Ohio 1 (8)
Charlotte 3, Gardner-Webb 2
Winthrop 12, N.C. A&T 2 (5)
Fairfield 6, UNC Wilmington 4
Kimber Bossom, Memphis
Lindsay Kelso, Memphis
Meredith Mielke, Furman
Katelyn Revens, Providence
Leah McIntosh, Albany
Courtney Waters, Ohio
Whitney Williams, Charlotte
Mallory Hogan, Winthrop
Offensive MVP: Lisa Kingsmore, Winthrop
Pitching MVP: Megan Evans, Winthrop
Gold Division winner: Winthrop
Silver Division winner: Memphis