Kalie Smith, Jennifer Jones and Tiffany Hawley homered to back the pitching of Carly White as Mount Olive defeated Pfeiffer 8-0 in game one of a Conference Carolinas softball doubleheader Sunday afternoon in Misenheimer, N.C. In the nightcap, White coaxed a pair of groundouts in the bottom of the seventh to stave off a Pfeiffer comeback and lead the Trojans to a sweep, 4-3.
In the nightcap, Mount Olive (28-12 Overall, 14-6 Conference Carolinas) struck quickly as Katie Moore singled to drive in Danielle Mitchell, who led off with a bunt single. Moore then took matters into her own hands, stealing second. When the throw from catcher Julianna Bullington sailed into centerfield, Smith trotted home and Moore took third. Moore made it 3-0, scoring on a groundout by Savannah Becker.
The three-run cushion appeared insurmountable against Trojan pitcher Madison Johnston (5-2). Johnston held the Falcons to just three singles and a walk in five innings of work. In the third, the Trojans added an insurance run thanks to a pair of Pfeiffer errors. Moore led off with a single, then moved up to second when Becker's groundball was mishandled. After a fielder's choice, Hawley reached on another error to bring home Becker.
The extra unearned run proved big when the Falcons' bats came alive in the bottom of the seventh. Pfeiffer used three, one-out singles to load the bases, then a wild pitch brought home the first run. Khristen Isley plated a second run with an infield single, then a second wild pitch made it 4-3 and put the tying run at second with one out. White settled down and got Celia Dew and Sadie Saine to ground out to third to end the game.
The win was a confidence-builder for a Trojan team that came into the doubleheader having lost three in a row -- all by one run. In Sunday's doubleheader, Mount Olive held the Falcons without a run for the first 11 innings.
In the opener, the Trojans used their muscle to get back on the winning track, earning a run rule-shortened victory. The Trojans slugged three homers and White (13-4) held the Hawks to just two singles in the win.
Hawley provided the first blast for the Trojans. She followed Jones' lead-off single with her second homer of the season.
An inning later, Mount Olive used small ball to extend the lead to 4-0. Beth Overman reached on an error to start the frame, then Becker's bunt was mishandled allowing Overman to race home. After a walk to Hawley and a wild pitch, Erin Brogan singled down the left field line to score Becker and load the bases. Danielle Mitchell walked to force in Hawley.
In the fourth, Jones slugged her sixth homer of the season, then Smith added her fourth in the fifth inning.
Mount Olive finishes the regular season in a tie for second with Limestone in the conference standings at 14-6. The Trojans own the tie-breaker and the second seed. The Trojans will face North Greenville in the tournament opener beginning Friday at Springwood Park in Burlington, N.C.