DECATUR, AL - Kimberly Gilbert's solo home run sparked a five-run fourth inning and No. 18 William Carey University went on to a 7-1 victory over Martin Methodist University in the opening round of the Southern States Athletic Conference 2018 Softball Championships at Wilson Morgan Field.
Gilbert's homer broke up a scoreless tie and the 18th-ranked Lady Crusaders (35-13) added four more runs in the inning, including two on Maranda Busby's double and another on Macy Monk's single.
The sixth-seeded Redhawks (20-28) scored in the top of the fifth inning, but Carey added a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning to seal the win.
Lindsey Johnson picked up the win, allowing a run on three hits in seven innings. She walked four and struck out four.
Gilbert finished with a home run and single and Mary Blair Odom and Kaitlyn Thompson had two singles each of the Lady Crusaders.
Third-seeded Carey will face second-seeded Faulkner University (43-10) at noon Friday. The Lady Eagles are ranked 13th nationally.