In a rematch of a regular season doubleheader, #8 Berea College took on #10 University of Cincinnati-Clermont this afternoon. With both teams in the loser's bracket in the 2015 USCAA Softball National Championship, Berea needed to win to continue to be in contention for the championship.
The game got off to a rough start for the Mountaineers as the Cougars started off the first inning by scoring three runs to take a 3-0 lead. Hannah Carter responded to the deficit by hitting a solo home run in the bottom of the first to cut into the lead and make the score 3-1 at the end of the first inning. After a quiet second inning by both teams, Carter returned to the plate and hit her second solo home run of the game to make the score 3-2. The momentum of the home run carried over as the next batter, Kari Kviten, singled and quickly made her way to second via a stolen base. Kviten would make her way to third base on a Mercedes Stanfield ground out and score on an error to tie the game 3-3. Morgan McClure, who reached base on the error, made her way to third base on a Sarah Haycraft double and was brought in by Victoria Sergent's RBI single to give Berea a 4-3 lead at the end of the third inning.
The Mountaineers struck the scoreboard again in the bottom of the fifth inning. Haycraft began the inning by taking a walk and made her way to second base by stealing. Katelyn Blair's single moved Haycraft to third base and an error by the Clermont third basemen on a Cheyanna Johnson hit allowed Haycraft to put the fifth run on the board. Blair added the sixth run of the game off a sacrifice fly from Courtney Sartin. The final run of the inning came from Johnson as she scored from a Kviten RBI single to make the score 7-3. After making quick work of the batters in the top of the sixth inning, Blair scored her second run of the game, this time a solo home run, the third home run of the game for the Mountaineers, to make the score 8-3 as the game headed to the top of the seventh. Clermont would manage one hit in seventh inning but nothing more as the Mountaineers went on to win 8-3.
Sergent and Blair combined to pitch the game for the Blue Crew, giving up seven hits, three runs (one earned), walking three batters and striking out five. Carter led the offense for the Mountaineers, going 2-2 with two home runs. The team combined for 14 hits and scored 8 runs on those hits.
With the win, Berea stays in alive in the tournament and moves on to face the loser of the game between #4 Briarcliffe College and #1 St. Mary-of-the-Woods College. The start time for that game is currently scheduled for 6:00 PM.