Softball splits on opening day

Emory vs. Greensboro College
BSC vs. Emory
BSC vs. Greensboro College

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—
The Birmingham-Southern softball team opened its 2011 season on Saturday at home, losing to Emory, 6-4, but defeating Greensboro College, 8-6.

The Panthers, who are hosting the BSC Invitational this weekend, now stand at 1-1. Emory moves to 8-0 with its two wins today (the Eagles defeated GC in game one, 3-2), and the Pride drops to 0-2 to open its season.

Against Emory, BSC went up 2-0 in the bottom of the first on an RBI single from sophomore Danielle Rucker and a sacrifice fly-out by junior Emily Merritt. The Eagles cut it to 2-1 in the top of the third when they scored on a BSC error, and then scored four runs in the top of the fifth on an RBI single and a three-run homer to go up 5-2.

BSC cut it to 5-4 in the bottom of the sixth on another RBI single by Rucker and an RBI single by sophomore Brittany Berkopec, but the Eagles added another run in the top of the seventh on another home run. The Panthers were unable to score in the bottom of the seventh to give Emory the 6-4 win.

Junior Ronni Ferris started in the circle and threw all seven innings for BSC, giving up six hits and one earned run with three strikeouts. Bridget Holloway picked up the win for Emory after giving up six hits and two earned runs in seven innings.

Rucker was 3-of-3 for the Panthers with two RBIs, while six different Eagles picked up single hits.

In the nightcap, BSC (playing as the visiting team and batting first) recorded three runs in the top of the first when Berkopec hit a two-RBI triple and then stole home. Greensboro College scored one run in the bottom of the first on a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch.

The Pride tied it up in the bottom of the second with two runs scored on fielder’s choice RBIs. The Panthers broke the tie in the top of the fourth with an RBI double from junior Ashley Bice and an RBI single from Rucker, going up 5-3.

BSC added another run in the top of the fifth on a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch, but Greensboro scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth to make things interesting, tying it up 6-6. The Panthers answered with two runs in the top of the sixth, both as a result of Pride errors, and hung on to win 8-6.

Junior Beth Lefler started in the circle for BSC and threw three innings, giving up four hits and three earned runs. Ferris came in in the fourth and pitched the remaining four innings, allowing five hits and three earned runs with three strikeouts. Ferris picked up the win to move to 1-1 on the season.

Kelsey Sanfilipo started for GC and threw four innings and gave up four hits and three earned runs with two strikeouts. Brittany Daniel (0-1) came in for the next two innings, allowing two hits and one earned run with one strikeout. Hannah Pennell threw the final inning for the Pride and picked up two strikeouts.

Rucker led the Panthers again at the plate, going 2-of-4, but Berkopec led with four RBIs. Sarah Bell led Greensboro College, going 2-of-4, while Cyndel Henson and Kanisha Fogg led with two RBIs each.

Action in the BSC Invitational continues tomorrow as Emory and GC face off again at 10 a.m. BSC then takes on GC at noon and Emory and 2 p.m., all at BSC Softball Park.