After an exciting victory over #4 Briarcliffe College, #8 Berea College returned to the field this afternoon once again trying to avoid elimination. Today's opponent was the #6 NHTI, with the winner of the game advancing to the semifinals of the bottom bracket.
The offense for the Mountaineers did not come to life until the top of the second inning. Trailing 1-0, Morgan McClure got on base with a single and advanced to second base via a stolen base. Sarah Haycraft stepped into the batter's box and hit a single which brought McClure home to put the first run on the board for Berea. After a bunt single by Victoria Sergent moved Haycraft to third base, Cheyanna Johnson's sacrifice hit would put a second run on the board for the Blue Crew with Haycraft returning home. Each team added a run in the third inning, Berea's run coming off a Mercedes Stanfield RBI single that allowed Hannah Carter to make the score 3-2 in favor of the Mountaineers.
Holding NHTI scoreless for the rest of the game with the combination of pitching and defense, Berea continued the scoring in the top of the fifth when a Stanfield single brought Carter in for another run. Kari Kviten kept the scoring going in the fifth as she scored on an error by the catcher, caused by a McClure hit. Sergent helped add the third run of the inning as her second hit of the day allowed Stanfield to score. The final run of the inning to give Berea College a 7-2 lead came from McClure when she stole home base. The Mountaineers added two more insurance runs in the top of the seventh inning, with Stanfield scoring off a Katelyn Blair fielder's choice and McClure adding a run to the board off a Johnson sacrifice fly. Berea closed out the bottom of the seventh inning with three straight outs and finished the game with a 9-2 victory.
Sergent started the game on the mound for the Blue Crew, pitching four innings, giving up four hits, two earned runs, walking three batters and striking out six. Blair relieved Sergent in the bottom of the fifth, going three innings, allowing two hits, no walks and striking out two batters. The bats of the Mountaineers connected with 11 pitches, led by Stanfield, who was 3-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored.
The Mountaineers move on to the semifinals and wait for the loser of the game between #2 Carlow University and #1 Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 PM.