Softball Splits Non-Conference Doubleheader At UNC Pembroke

Softball Splits Non-Conference Doubleheader At UNC Pembroke

Madison Johnston tossed a complete game eight-inning five-hitter and University of Mount Olive used a pair of extra-inning sacrifice flies to take the lead for good as the Trojans defeated UNC Pembroke 3-2 in game one of a non-conference softball doubleheader Monday at Pembroke, N.C. Kelsey Akers scored the go-ahead run on a foul out and Beth Overman scored what proved to be the winning run on Tiffany Hawley's sacrifice fly.

The Trojans had to settle for a split after falling 10-8 in the second game. Four different Trojans drove in two runs, but UNC Pembroke went on top to stay after a five-run sixth inning.

Mount Olive (3-5) broke a scoreless tie in the top of the fourth when Katie Moore reached on an error and Hawley followed with a double. Moore came home on Jennifer Jones' sacrifice fly. UNC Pembroke (5-3) tied the score in the bottom of the fourth when Caitlin Steele led off with a double and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly.

Johnston (2-1) had a bend-but-not-break performance as she allowed a baserunner in each of the first six innings, but left five runners stranded. She retired the side in order in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings.

With Akers placed on second, Overman reached on an error and Moore singled to load the bases. Savannah Becker was credited with an rbi and sacrifice fly when Akers raced home from third on a foul out deep on the first base side. Overman, who advanced to third on the foul out, scored on Hawley's fly ball to center to give the Trojans a 3-1 lead.

UNC Pembroke scored a run in the bottom of the eighth after the tie-breaker runner came home on a groundout and a sacrifice fly. But Johnston sealed the win with her fourth strikeout of the game.

In the second game, Mount Olive overcame a 2-0 deficit with a four-run third inning as Hawley had a two-run single, while Becker doubled in a run and Kalie Smith singled home a run. After three unearned runs in the bottom of the fourth put UNC Pembroke back on top, the Trojans took a 6-5 lead in the top of the fifth on back-to-back rbi-doubles by Becker and Lauren McGrath.

UNC Pembroke tied the game in the bottom of the sixth on Whitney Jackson's rbi-single and took the lead for good Kaytee Wilson's rbi-double. Brea Hartley capped the inning with a three-run homer to give the Braves a 10-6 lead.

Mount Olive cut the lead in half in the top of the seventh on a pair of rbi-groundouts, but UNC Pembroke pitcher Selena Ashley (4-0) recorded her sixth strikeout for the complete game win.

Becker, Hawley, McGrath and Smith each collected two rbi's in the nightcap.

The doubleheader marked the first meeting between Mount Olive head coach Jaime Kylis-Higginbotham and former Trojan assistant coach Brittany Bennett, who is in her first year as UNC Pembroke's head coach.

Mount Olive plays its home opener Wednesday as the Trojans play host to Wingate in a non-conference doubleheader. Game time is 2 p.m. at Nancy Chapman Cassell Field.