BIRMINGHAM, Ala.--Freshman Deanna Creps threw a perfect game in the second game of today's doubleheader against Sewanee, helping the Birmingham-Southern softball team to a series sweep.
The Panthers strengthen their hold on first place in the Southern Athletic Association, moving to 19-9 on the season and 10-2 in conference play. With the victories, the Panthers have won 14 of their last 16 contests. Sewanee will head home 5-12 overall and 0-12 in SAA action.
In game one, the Panthers posted eight runs in the first inning alone en route to an 18-0 win. Panther batters produced runs with three singles, three doubles, a triple, and a home run. Sophomore Alyssa Statham put a shot over the left field fence to earn three of her game-high six RBI. Fellow sophomore Joanna Jernigan placed a double down the left field line to bring home Creps and freshman Katelyn Murray. Jernigan wrapped up scoring in the frame with a steal of home.
Statham continued to showcase her power from the plate with another home run in the third inning, this time to center field. The big fly also scored sophomore Taylor Bassett. In their final appearance at the plate, the Panthers scored another seven runs in the fourth.
The potent offensive performance complemented yet another strong outing for sophomore pitcher Bethany Fronk in the circle. With the victory, the hurler went to 14-7 on the season. Fronk only surrendered a pair of hits and a walk, while striking out five in the complete game gem.
Game two featured a dominating pitching performance from Creps as she threw a perfect game to complete the series sweep for the Panthers. It was the fifth perfect game in program history, and the first by a freshman. In the 8-0 win, Creps retired all 15 batters she faced and improved her record to 5-2. Creps also led the offensive effort, scoring a game-high two runs and reaching base in all three plate appearances.
The Panthers did most of the damage in the bottom of the second, scoring six runs. Singles from Creps and Statham, combined with Fronk being hit by a pitch, loaded the bases for the Panthers to start the inning. Panther scoring started when the next batter, senior Chelsea Fernandez, brought home Statham to break the scoreless tie. Two batters later, senior Brittany Berkopec earned an RBI with a fielder's choice to shortstop that scored Creps. Senior Danielle Rucker followed up with a double that brought Jernigan home. Bassett then singled through the left side to bring home Rucker and Berkopec to wrap up the inning's scoring.
An RBI from Jernigan in the third put the Panthers up 7-0, and a walk-off RBI single by freshman Karley Chamblee in the top of the fifth ended the game early to give BSC the 8-0 win.
Birmingham-Southern hits the road for a conference series against Hendrix next weekend. The Panthers will play two doubleheaders against the Warriors, one on Saturday and the other Sunday, both starting at noon in Conway, Ark.