Starting pitcher Carly White survived a five-run first inning and Katie Moore scored the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the eighth as second-seeded Mount Olive rallied for an extra-inning 7-6 victory over No. 7 seed Erskine in the opening round of the 2013 Conference Carolinas Softball Tournament Friday at Burlington, N.C. Erin Brogan sent the game into extra innings with a two-out rbi-single in the bottom of the seventh, while Moore also sparked the Trojans defensively with inning-ending catches in the seventh and eighth innings.
The win advances the Trojans to the second round against No. 6 seed North Greenville. The game had to be rescheduled for Saturday at 4 p.m. after lightning and heavy rain halted play Friday afternoon. North Greenville defeated third-seeded Limestone 3-0 Friday morning.
Mount Olive (29-12) chipped away at Erskine's lead and tied the game for the first time in the bottom of the seventh. Danielle Mitchell doubled down the right field line with one out and came home one out later on Moore's opposite-field double to right-center to even the score 5-5.
Erskine (14-23-2) capitalized on a Trojan infield error to regain the lead in the top of the seventh. Lindsay Waters reached base to lead off the inning when Moore was unable to handle her ground ball to the right side. Waters advanced to second on a sacrifice and scored on Morgan Purcell's single through the right side. White retired the next batter on a soft liner to shortstop Jennifer Jones and Moore made a running over-the-shoulder catch on the right-center field grass to end the inning.
In the bottom of the seventh, Tiffany Hawley walked for the second straight time and Kelsey Akers drew a walk one out later. Erskine pitcher Kelsey Spurrier got an infield popup for the second out and was ahead 1-2 on Brogan. Brogan took two close pitches that were called inside, then sent a 3-2 pitch up the middle for a single. Pinch-runner Lauren McGrath scored from second as the throw was up the line and the Trojans tied the game 6-6.
Erskine loaded the bases on a hit batsman, a walk and a two-out infield single by Colleen Gardner. Larissa Shannon, who ranks second in the conference with 11 home runs and ranks in the top 10 in runs batted in, hit a sharp line drive to the hole on the right side. But Moore reached out and snagged the liner to end the inning and prevent any go-ahead runs.
Moore singled to left with one out in the bottom of the eighth and went to second one out later on a wild pitch. After McGrath was hit by a pitch, Jones hit a grounder to third for what looked to be the final out. But the ball was overthrown and Moore came home with the winning run.
Erskine sent 10 batters to the plate in the top of the first, the first six reaching before recording an out. Ericka McCarson beat out an infield single to lead off the inning and beat out a force attempt at second. After a walk loaded the bases, Purcell's ground-rule double to center put the Flying Fleet up 2-0. Ashlyn Hicks singled in a run and No. 9 batter Whitney Brown capped the inning with a bases-loaded two-run single to give Erskine a 5-0 lead. White recorded three of her six strikeouts in the first inning.
Two wild pitches in the first inning and an error in the second allowed Mount Olive to score a run in each inning to cut the lead to 5-2. The Trojans added two runs in the bottom of the fifth on two-out rbi-singles by Jones and Akers to make it a one-run game.
White (13-4) settled down after the first inning, retiring eight in a row during one stretch. She held Erskine scoreless on just two hits until allowing the unearned run in the seventh. White threw 138 pitches.
Spurrier (10-12) recorded 10 strikeouts and threw 180 pitches in 7 2/3 innings.
Friday's win ended one streak in the conference tournament for Mount Olive and extended two other streaks. The Trojans had lost its previous four conference tournament games dating back to 2011. Each of the Trojans' last five conference tournament games have been decided by one run, the last three decided in extra innings.
Lightning halted play Friday at 3:43 p.m. while the first two elimination games were in progress. Those games will be resumed Saturday at 2 p.m., after the conclusion of the All-Conference Carolinas awards brunch.
Mount Olive will play two games Saturday, regardless of the outcome of its game against North Greenville. The losing team plays an elimination game at 6 p.m., while the winning team plays in the winner's bracket final at 8 p.m.
The final game in the elimination bracket had to be moved to Sunday at noon. The championship game will be played at 2 p.m. and another game will be played at 4 p.m. if necessary. The tournament champion earns an automatic bid to the 2013 NCAA Division II Southeast Regional.