BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—The Birmingham-Southern softball team opened the 2016 season at home on Saturday with two wins against Maryville College, 1-0 and 7-4 at BSC Softball Park.
The Panthers moved to 2-0, while the Scots fell to 0-2.
- BSC got a runner to third in the bottom of the third inning, and Maryville did the same in the top of the fourth, but neither were able to capitalize.
- The Panthers left another runner stranded on third in the bottom of the fifth, and the Scots loaded the bases in the top of the seventh with one out. Junior starter Taylor Harkins came back into the circle and got BSC out of the jam, thanks in part to a great play by freshman first baseman Savannah Lee to throw the runner out at home.
- With two outs on the board in the bottom of the eighth, freshman Haley Crumpton sent the ball over the center field fence, ending the game and giving BSC the 1-0 victory.
- Harkins got the win after pitching 5.2 innings and giving up three hits and two walks with seven strikeouts.
- Ponder threw 2.1 innings and picked up two strikeouts.
- Junior Torrie Garner went 2-3 at the plate.
- BSC got off to a quick start in game two, going up 3-0 in the bottom of the first when junior Amanda Ballew and Crumpton both hit home runs; Ballew's was a two-RBI homer that also brought junior Maddie Ridgway across the plate.
- Sophomore Micaela Beck got in on the action in the third with a two-run home run to put the Panthers up 5-0, and Ballew sent a two-run double through the left side later that inning to expand the lead to 7-0.
- The Scots got on the board for the first time in the top of the fourth, scoring on an RBI double and a three-run homer to cut it to 7-4. Those would be the final runs of the day for either team.
- Freshman Leah White got the win in the circle, throwing four relief innings and giving up three hits and one earned run with no walks and six strikeouts.
- Ballew led at the plate, going 3-4 with four RBI.
- Crumpton's home run in the first game marks the second straight year that a freshman has led off the season with a home run in her first game. Beck did the same last season in the opener against Piedmont, hitting a homer in her first collegiate at-bat.
- BSC now holds a 12-0 record against Maryville all-time; the two teams hadn't met since the 2013 season.
- The Panthers are at in action again at home on Thursday, Feb. 18, hosting DePauw University in a 3 p.m. doubleheader.
- The Tigers were ranked seventh in the nation in the final 2015 NFCA Coaches Poll after winning their 2015 NCAA Regional and Super Regional titles as well as the NCAC championship.