BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Sophomore hurler Ronni Ferris threw the third perfect game in program history, Saturday, in game one of Birmingham-Southern’s doubleheader sweep of Rhodes College.
The Panthers defeated the Lynx 8-0 in five innings in game one, and 3-2 in 10 innings in game two, moving to 15-3 on the season and 6-0 in conference play. Rhodes falls to 19-9 overall and 1-5 in the SCAC.
Ferris’ perfect game was only the third in program history, and the first since Feb. 12, 2005, when Kristina Villavicencio, who graduated in 2006, was perfect against Alabama A&M in BSC’s season opener.
In game one, the Panthers scored in every inning of the five-inning game, putting two up in the bottom of the first on a deep double down the right field line by freshman Misha Aldridge. BSC went up 3-0 in the bottom of the second when freshman Januar Page scored as Rhodes was trying to throw Ferris out at first.
BSC scored another run in the bottom of the third on an RBI single by Page, and then scored three in the bottom of the fourth on RBI singles from Aldridge and sophomore Ashley Bice, and an RBI double from senior Tori Harris. The game ended early in the bottom of the fifth when the Panthers scored their eighth run on an RBI single from junior Allison Reynolds.
Ferris recorded 10 strikeouts in the game to move to 7-2 on the season. Chelsea Peters was the starting pitcher for Rhodes, giving up 13 hits and seven earned runs with one strikeout in four innings, dropping to 9-5.
Page, Ferris, and Aldridge were all 3-of-4 at the plate, and Harris was 3-of-3, with Aldridge recording three RBIs. BSC had 17 total hits.
In the nightcap, the Panthers got on the board first in the bottom of the third when Page scored on a sacrifice fly-out by senior Jena Franks. BSC was looking to pick up the 1-0 victory when the Lynx scored on a BSC error in the top of the seventh to tie things up. The Panthers were unable to score in the bottom of the seventh, and the game went to extra innings.
Rhodes took its first lead of the day in the top of the 10th inning when Kelli Zomer, who placed on second base by virtue of the international tie-breaker rule and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt, scored on a wild pitch.
In the bottom of the 10th, Reynolds started the inning on second base for BSC and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Bice. The Panthers then tied things up on a fielder’s choice RBI by freshman Brittany Berkopec, who proceeded to steal second during the next at-bat. Berkopec advanced to third on a wild pitch, and then scored on another wild pitch to end the game with the 3-2 win for BSC.
Page, Franks, and Bice all recorded single hits for the Panthers, while Elise Suna was 2-of-4 for Rhodes, who recorded six total hits as a team.
Harris was the starting pitcher for BSC, throwing 6.1 innings and giving up all six hits with one strikeout. Ferris came in for the final 3.2 innings and picked up two strikeouts and the win, moving to 8-2 on the season. For Rhodes, Sara Bowen threw all 9.1 innings and gave up three hits and two earned runs with 11 strikeouts to drop to 8-4.
BSC and Rhodes face off again tomorrow in a 1 p.m. doubleheader at the BSC Softball Park.