JACKSON, Tenn.—After a tough 6-5 loss to the top West Division seed Trinity earlier today, the Birmingham-Southern softball team rebounded in the loser's bracket of the 2012 SCAC Softball Championship with a 6-2 win against Southwestern this evening.
The Panthers, the top seed in the East Division, move to 32-9, while the Pirates, the second seed in the West, fall to 26-18 to end the season.
BSC advances to the final day tomorrow, facing Trinity again at noon. The Panthers will need to beat the Tigers twice tomorrow to clinch the conference title. A loss in the first game will end the double-elimination tournament and give Trinity the championship.
In the loss to Trinity today, the Tigers were up 4-0 after two innings before a homerun from senior Ashley Bice in the bottom of the third finally put the Panthers on the board, 4-1.
BSC tied it up in the bottom of the fifth. A run scored on an error cut it to 4-2, and an RBI single from junior Brittany Berkopec and another run scored on an error knotted the score at 4-4.
A two-run homerun by Trinity in the top of the seventh put the Tigers back in the lead. The Panthers were able to score once in the bottom of the seventh, courtesy of an RBI from senior Ronni Ferris, but weren't able to overcome the deficit.
Freshman Erin Lopez went 3-3 at the plate for the Panthers, and Bice was 2-4. Freshman Bethany Fronk started in the circle and threw 1.2 innings, giving up six hits and four earned runs, and Ferris came in for the final 5.1 innings and took the loss, dropping to 12-5 on the year. She struck out six Tigers while allowing six hits and two earned runs.
In the nightcap, BSC met Southwestern for the second time in as many days after defeating the Pirates on Friday, 4-3. The teams traded runs in the third inning, with BSC's coming off an RBI single from Lopez. The Panthers scored four in the top of the fourth on an RBI single by Bice, a run scored on a passed ball, and a two-RBI double by Lopez.
The Pirates scored their final run in the bottom of the sixth to cut it to 5-2, but the Panthers added another run in the top of the seventh, this time on a ground-out RBI from junior Danielle Rucker. Southwestern went three up, three down in the bottom of the seventh, and BSC stayed alive with the 5-3 victory.
Lopez was 2-3 with three RBI, and junior Chelsea Fernandez was 2-4. Fronk started again and picked up the win this time, moving to 14-3 on the year. She gave up eight hits and two earned runs with one strikeout in 5.1 innings of work. Ferris came in for the last 1.2 and recorded three strikeouts while giving up one hit, and got her fourth save of the year.