Dayton, TN- The softball team returned to the diamond as they traveled to Dayton, TN less than 24 hours after competing in Lookout Mountain, GA against Covenant College. Today's doubleheader took place against the Bryan College Lions.
The first two batters for Berea did not reach base at their first at-bats, but the next three batters for the Mountaineers gained walks to get on to base. With the bases loaded, Katelyn Blair was the fourth player for Berea to reach base via a walk, putting the first run on the board when Morgan McClure crossed home plate. Blair's RBI and her pitching in the bottom of the first, in which she struck out the first batter and caused the next two to hit into outs, allowed the Mountaineers to maintain a 1-0 lead as the second inning began. The second inning saw the only hit for Berea as Hallie Mattingly singled to the pitcher mound, but the hit would not result in a run for the Mountaineers. Blair's strong pitching continued in the bottom of the second, as her third strikeout of the game ended the inning and kept Berea's 1-0 advantage intact.
The combination of pitching and defense from both teams took over the game, as neither team put runs on the board until the bottom of the sixth inning. A sacrifice fly to center field allowed the Lions to tie the game up 1-1. In the top of the seventh, the Mountaineers left one batter stranded and Bryan College hit a walk-off double to take game one of the doubleheader 2-1.
Berea's offense only had one hit in the first game, which Mattingly collected, while McClure scored the only run off of Blair's RBI walk. On the mound, Blair pitched all the innings, giving up seven hits, two earned runs, striking out six batters while walking two.
Berea started the second game of the doubleheader by putting two runners in scoring position but was unable to capitalize on the opportunity to add runs to the scoreboard as the next batter for the Mountaineers grounded out to end the inning. The Lions though connected with three balls in the bottom of the first inning and turned one of the hits into a run on the scoreboard, to take a 1-0 lead heading into the second inning. The deficit Berea faced changed to 2-0 in the bottom of the third inning as Bryan College added their second run of the game but the Mountaineers mounted some offense in the top of the fifth which helped them cut the lead in half.
Chelsey Parsons, who reached base via a walk and advanced to third base on batted balls, added the first run to the board for Berea off of McClure's RBI single. The team continued to threaten to add more runs to the scoreboard as two base runners were in scoring position, but were left on base as the third out of the inning was recorded, with the score 2-1 heading into the bottom of the fifth. After seeing their lead diminished, the Lions responded by crossing home plate two more times to increase their lead to 4-1 in the bottom half of the inning. The deficit would be too much for the Mountaineers to overcome as the team fell in the second game with a final score of 4-1.
McClure and Lillian Setters both went 2-4 from the behind the plate for Berea. McClure added her third RBI of the season in the game. The offense for Berea totaled one run on five hits for the game. The team also committed four errors. Taylor Flowers, the starting pitcher for the Mountaineers, pitched four innings, allowed seven hits, two earned runs, two walked batters and a strikeout.
The team gets about a week off to rest before playing in their season home opener on Sunday, Februray 28th. Alice Lloyd College comes to town for a 3:30 match up at the Berea College Sports Complex.