GREENCASTLE, Ind.—With a split against No. 4 DePauw today, the Birmingham-Southern softball team clinched its first-ever Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference East Division title. BSC lost game one, 4-2, but rallied to win game two, 11-9.
The Panthers now stand at 22-8 overall and end conference play with a 13-3 record, while DePauw falls to 17-7-1 overall and 6-4 in the SCAC.
In game one, BSC went up 1-0 in the top of the second inning on an RBI double by junior Beth Lefler, but DePauw came back and scored all four of its runs in the bottom of the second. The Panthers were able to score one more run in the top of the sixth on a lead-off home run by junior Ashley Bice.
Bice and Lefler each had two of BSC's six hits. Junior Ronni Ferris (12-6) took the loss in the circle after giving up nine hits and four earned runs with one strikeout.
In game two, the Panthers kicked off the game with six runs in the top of the first, courtesy of a two-RBI double by Lefler, runs scored on a passed ball and wild pitch, and a two-run single by sophomore Jordan Allen. DePauw scored a single run in the bottom of the first, and BSC added two more runs in the top of the second on a two-RBI double by sophomore Brittany Berkopec, putting the Panthers up 8-1.
The Panthers increased their lead to 9-1 in the top of the fourth on an RBI by sophomore Chelsea Fernandez, and then went up 11-1 in the top of the fifth on a two-RBI single by Bice.
DePauw started to rally with three runs in the bottom of the fifth, cutting it to 11-4. In the bottom of the seventh, with one out on the board, the Tigers got four straight hits, including a home run, cutting the Panther lead to 11-8. After another out, BSC gave up another home run before getting the third out for a final score of 11-9.
Each team recorded 14 hits. Bice and Allen led BSC, each going 3-of-4 at the plate. Lefler (16-7) started in the circle for BSC and picked up the win, giving up 11 hits and six earned runs. Ferris came in for the final two outs of the game and allowed three hits and three earned runs.
The Panthers return home this Thursday for the last home game of the season, taking on Covenant College in a 6 p.m. doubleheader at BSC Softball Park.