BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Courtesy of a walk-off grand slam by senior #Kayla Backlund# in the bottom of the sixth inning of game one, the Birmingham-Southern softball team picked up two Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference victories against Austin College today at BSC Softball Park, winning by the scores of 9-1 and 5-1. The Panthers move to 20-2 on the season, while the 'Roos drop to 8-14.
In game one, Austin College got on the board in the top of the first on an RBI double to right-center field by Suzanne Beltran. BSC evened it up in the bottom of the second when freshman #Ashley Bice# scored on a sacrifice fly-out by freshman #Brittany Vintson#.
BSC went up by one in the bottom of the fourth when Bice scored again on an RBI single to left field by sophomore #Melissa Revis#.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Panthers went up 3-1 when Bice scored on a wild pitch, and then led 4-1 on an RBI fielder's choice by Revis to plate Vintson. Two straight hits by seniors #Erin Glover# and #Melissa Muehlenfeld# loaded the bases and, after a pitching change by the 'Roos, freshman #Beth Lefler# walked to put BSC up 5-1 and keep the bases loaded. Backlund then stepped up and sent the ball over the right-center field fence for the walk-off grand slam (and her fourth home run of the season) to give the Panthers the 9-1 victory.
Muehlenfeld picked up the win in the circle after throwing all six innings and allowing only two hits with one strikeout, moving to 9-1 on the season. Ashley Johnson started for Austin College and took the loss, dropping to 5-5 on the season, after going 5.1 innings and giving up nine hits and six earned runs. Kiely Harrison came in for the final two outs and gave up one hit and two earned runs.
Bice was 3-3 at the plate with three runs scored, and Glover was 2-3 and Muehlenfeld was 2-4. Backlund led with four RBI. Beltran and Kali Gossett picked up the only hits for the 'Roos.
In the second game, BSC scored two in the bottom of the first on RBI singles from Lefler and Bice.
Innings two through five were somewhat of a pitcher's duel, with neither team scoring again until the top of the sixth, when Beltran hit a home run over the left-center field fence to cut the lead to 2-1. BSC responded in the bottom of the sixth with a two-RBI double by Vintson and an RBI double by Revis to put the Panthers up 5-1. The 'Roos were unable to find the bases in the top of the seventh, and BSC picked up another win on the day.
Freshman #Ronni Ferris# was the winning pitcher, moving to 4-0 after giving up one hit with three strikeouts in five innings. Junior #Tori Harris# came in for the final two innings, allowing one hit and one earned run with two strikeouts for her first save of the season. Amber Pemberton took the loss for AC, dropping to 1-7 after allowing nine hits and five earned runs with four strikeouts in 5.1 innings. Johnson came in for the final two outs of the game.
Muehlenfeld was 3-4 while Lefler and Vintson were 2-3, and Vintson led with two RBI. Beltran and Stefanie Faith recorded the 'Roos' two hits.
The teams are back on the diamond again tomorrow for an 11 a.m. doubleheader at BSC Softball Park.