Softball opens season with two home wins against Berry

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—The Birmingham-Southern softball team opened the 2012 season today at home with two victories against Berry College, winning by the scores of 12-8 and 8-0.

In the first game of the doubleheader, Berry scored quickly, going up 2-0 in the top of the first inning. BSC scored one in the bottom of the first on an RBI double by freshman Taylor Bassett in her first collegiate at-bat, but the Vikings scored once in both the top of the second and third to go up 4-1.

Bassett was clutch again in her second at-bat, hitting a home run in the bottom of the third to cut the lead to 4-2, and the Panthers tied it up in the bottom of the fourth on a two-run single from junior Danielle Rucker.

BSC put up five runs in the bottom of the fifth courtesy of an RBI single from freshman Bethany Fronk, a two-RBI single from freshman Joanna Jernigan, an RBI triple from senior Ashley Bice, and another RBI from Rucker.

Berry came back with four runs in the top of the sixth, cutting the Panther lead to 9-8, but BSC scored three more runs in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI from junior Chelsea Fernandez and two bases-loaded walks, increasing the lead to 12-8. BSC held the Vikings scoreless in the top of the seventh for the win.

Bassett went 3-for-3 at the plate, while Rucker and Jernigan led with three RBI each. BSC totaled 11 hits to Berry's eight. The Panthers also recorded three errors, but the Vikings had six.

Senior Ronni Ferris started in the circle, throwing 1.1 innings before Fronk came in for the next 4.1 innings, giving up four hits and two earned runs with one strikeout. Ferris came in for the final 1.1 innings and got the save.

In the nightcap, BSC shut out Berry 8-0 in five innings. The Panthers scored two in the bottom of the first, five in the bottom of the second, and one in the bottom of the third.

The Panthers out-hit the Vikings 10-2, led by senior Beth Lefler, junior Brittany Berkopec, and freshman Alyssa Statham with two apiece. Statham and senior Ashley Bice led with three RBI each.

Lefler also pitched all five innings, giving up two hits with one strikeout.

BSC is at home again next weekend, hosting the BSC Invitational, Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 25 and 26. The Panthers face Huntingdon at 10 a.m. and Alabama A&M at 6 p.m. on Saturday, and Case Western Reserve at 10 a.m. on Sunday.