Beth Overman singled in her first at bat of the bottom of the fifth and capped a seven-run inning with a bases-loaded walk for the winning run as Mount Olive posted an 11-3 run-rule victory over Lees-McRae in game one of a Conference Carolinas softball doubleheader Monday at Nancy Chapman Cassell Field. The Trojans sent 11 batters to the plate in the inning.
The doubleheader sweep moved Mount Olive (21-7 overall, 8-2 Conference Carolinas) into sole possession of first place in the conference standings.
In game one, Mount Olive held a narrow 4-3 lead going into the fifth when Danielle Mitchell led off with a walk and Overman followed with a single to left. After a passed ball advanced the runners, Mitchell came home on a single by Katie Moore, who advanced to second when her ball was misplayed.
Jones reached first and Overman scored on a wild pitch on strike three to give Mount Olive a 6-3 lead. Kalie Smith followed with an rbi-single and after Savannah Becker drew a one-out walk, Savannah Westover delivered a two-run single to left-center to extend the Trojans' lead to 9-3.
Erin Brogan walked to load the bases and Mitchell walked for the second time in the inning to make the score 10-3. Overman fell behind 1-2 before rallying to draw the walk-off walk.
The Trojans took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first on consecutive two-out singles by Moore, Jones and Smith, and an error on Smith's single. Lees-McRae (7-28, 2-6) tied the game with two runs in the top of the second as Sadie Lagle led off with a double and Allison Armstrong had an rbi-single in the inning.
Mount Olive answered with two runs in the bottom of the second as Lauren McGrath scored on an error and Mitchell singled in a run. Lees-McRae came back with a run in the top of the third on Kierstie Moon's leadoff home run, her first of the season.
Both starting pitchers took over with consecutive scoreless innings. Trojan starter Christie Wright (4-1) overcame a two-out single in the fourth and a leadoff single in the fifth to finish with a seven-hitter. Bobcat starter Kristen Oakes held the Trojans to just one hit in the third and fourth innings before Lees-McRae changed pitchers to start the fifth.
The Trojans started game two in similar fashion as the opener, jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Becker led off with a double and Overman followed with her seventh home run of the season, second highest in the conference.
Lees-McRae got on the scoreboard in the top of the second on Jessica Smith's rbi-single. In the third inning, the Bobcats had runners on first and second with nobody out and bases loaded with one out, but had to settle for just one run to tie the game 2-2. The Trojans benefited from a crazy defensive play when third baseman Kalie Smith corraled a foul pop-up down the third base line after it popped out of the mitt of catcher Rebecca McDaniel.
Mount Olive took the lead for good with a three-run fourth inning. After Westover reached on an error and Becker was hit by a pitch, Overman singled to drive in Westover with the go-ahead run. Becker and Overman both came home on Jones' double to cap the scoring.
Lauren Smith (5-3) retired the side in order in the fourth, fifth and seventh innings to close out the win. She finished with four strikeouts.
The Trojans entered Monday's doubleheader in a three-way tie for first with King and Limestone. The twinbill against Lees-McRae was originally scheduled for Sunday, but was pushed back a day due to rain.
Mount Olive returns to action Thursday as the Trojans travel to Richmond, Va., to take on Virginia Union in a non-conference doubleheader. Game time is 2 p.m.