March 23, 2014

Softball sweeps Centre with two Sunday wins

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—The Birmingham-Southern softball team completed a four-game conference sweep of Centre College with two Sunday victories, winning 6-3 and 8-0 at BSC Softball Park.

The Panthers move to 13-9 overall and 10-2 in the Southern Athletic Association, and have now won six straight games. The Colonels fall to 5-12 overall and 4-7 in the SAA.

In game one today BSC fell behind 3-1 after three innings, the Panthers' first run coming in the bottom of the second on a two-out RBI triple to left field by freshman Alex Skene to plate freshman Taylor Brewer. BSC tied it up in the bottom of the fifth after junior Hannah Harris led off with a double to right field, stole third, and came home on an RBI ground-out by junior Bethany Fronk. After junior Alyssa Statham singled to right, junior Joanna Jernigan came in to pinch run for her. Jernigan advanced to third on a single by freshman Torrie Garner, and scored on a sac-fly from junior Taylor Bassett to tie the game at 3-3.

After a pitching change by BSC, bringing Fronk in for freshman Taylor Harkins, the Panthers held the Colonels scoreless the rest of the way. BSC scored the go-ahead and game-winning runs in the bottom of the sixth as sophomore Maddie Ridgway RBI singled to right-center to score Brewer, and Statham had a two-RBI single up the middle, plating Harris and Ridgway to bring the score to 6-3.

Statham was 3-4 at the plate with two RBI, while Fronk and Ridgway were both 2-3. Harkins went five innings, giving up six hits and one earned run with five strikeouts. Fronk allowed no hits while striking out two batters in her two innings of work.

In the nightcap, BSC got things started in the bottom of the first with an RBI single by Statham and a run scored on a Centre error. In the bottom of the third, freshman Amanda Ballew RBI singled to right field to bring Fronk across the plate, and a Brewer grand slam extended the Panther lead to 7-0. BSC scored the walk-off run in the bottom of the fifth on another Colonel error, ending the game early with an 8-0 win for BSC.

Statham led the Panthers at the plate again, going 2-3, while Ridgway led with four RBI. Fronk (7-7) threw the complete-game five-inning shutout, allowing five hits with three strikeouts.

The Panthers step out of conference play next weekend to face Georgia Gwinnett College in a 2 p.m. ET doubleheader on Saturday, March 29, in Lawrenceville, Ga. BSC returns home next Thursday, April 3, to host No. 15 Emory in a 4 p.m. doubleheader.