NEWBERRY, S.C. --- Top-seeded Carson-Newman College shut out eighth-seeded Tusculum College, 4-0, to wrap up the first round of the 2008 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Softball Tournament at the Newberry Softball Field on Thursday.

Carson-Newman (45-6) was paced by Zoe Heim's three-hit, nine strikeout performance, running her record to 27-5 on the season.

Tusculum (19-23) has its six-game winning streak stopped, while Carson-Newman posts its 18th straight victory. TC starter Ashley Whitehead (5-9) picked up the loss for the Pioneers, allowing four runs - two earned - on six hits and three walks in 4.1 innings.

The teams were deadlocked through three and a half innings, but the Lady Eagles jumped ahead with three runs in the bottom of the fourth. Jessie Kuhlman led the frame off with a hard-hit triple to centerfield, which Whitney Hickam followed by beating out an infield single.

Sara Little drove Kuhlman in with a single through the right side and an Amber Palmer single to left plated Hickam. ?Little rounded out the scoring in the frame when she reached home after a fielding error.

Jessie Howard added the final run in the bottom of the fifth using aggressive base-running and taking advantage of Tusculum errors. After drawing a walk, Howard stole second, advanced to third on a passed ball and proceeded to score on a fielding error to provide the final 4-0 score line.

The Lady Eagles advance in the winners' bracket to take on fourth-seeded Lincoln Memorial at 11:45 a.m. Friday at Newberry College. Tusculum will take on fifth-seeded Mars Hill in an elimination game at the same time at Newberry High School.

- SAC -