Berea, KY- After an extended break, the softball team returned to the diamond at the Berea College Sports Complex today. They took on the Pomeroys of Saint Mary of the Woods College, the defending USCAA National Champions, in a doubleheader on this windy and chilly day.
In the first game, the visiting Pomeroys scored two runs in the first inning to lead 2-0 as the Mountaineers headed to the plate. Berea was unable to make any changes to the score as the offense was stifled by the opposing pitcher. Trailing 7-0, the Mountaineers finally found their way around the tough pitching as Lillian Setters' single put a runner on base. Setters was left on base though as the next two batters recorded outs. Melissa Garcia-Maldonado hit a single to begin the sixth inning and made her way to second base on a wild pitch. Garcia-Maldonado advanced to third on Hannah Carter's single. Setters' fielder's choice put runners on first and second as Garcia-Maldonado was put out at third. A Riley Lanham single loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth inning before a ground out by the next batter resulted in the end of the game, with Saint Mary of the Woods winning 9-0 in six innings.
Carter and Garcia-Maldonado led the team at the plate, each going 1-1. Setters and Lanham also finished with a hit. Markiara Smith started on the mound for Berea, pitching the entire game.
The second game saw more offense from both teams as the Mountaineers looked to make a dent to the 5-0 deficit they faced when they came to the batter's box in the first inning. Setters quickly moved to second base after her single as Carter hit a single to put runners on first and second. Lanham's RBI double resulted in Setters' scoring the first run of the game for Berea and moved Carter to third as the score read 5-1. A passed ball allowed Carter and Lanham to score to move the score to 5-3. Kourtney Parker and Abby Nash would get in on the action with singles, putting them on first and second. Chelsey Parson's RBI single brought Parker in for the fourth run of the inning. The score remained 5-4 in favor of the Pomeroys as the teams went to the second inning.
After three runs by Saint Mary of the Woods in the top of the third inning, Parker began the bottom of the third with a single for her second hit of the game and moved to third base on Nash's double. Parsons recorded her second RBI of the game with her single, scoring Parker to make the score 8-5. The offense of the Mountaineers were unable to cut anymore into the deficit as the next three batters recorded outs. A run in the fourth inning for the Pomeroys gave them a 9-5 lead. Scoring chances occurred for Berea as the team exploded for 14 hits but were unable to turn the hits into runs throughout the game. Six runs in the top of the sixth inning pushed the visiting team's lead to 15-5. After a fly out to begin the bottom half of the sixth, Parker recorded her third single of the game to begin the comeback attempt. The next batter, Nash, reached base via an error as Nash and Parker advanced an extra base virtue the error, putting runners on second and third. Parsons recorded her third RBI of the game, scoring Parker to make the score 15-6. The rally fell short though as the final out of the inning resulted in the visiting team winning the game 15-6.
Parson, Parker and Lanham finished 3-4 from the plate for the Mountaineers. Parsons finished with three RBIs while Lanham added an RBI of her own and Parker scored three runs. Jacquelyne Howard was the starting pitcher for Berea, pitching the complete game.
The softball team will go on the road for their next doubleheader, traveling to Louisville, KY to take on Spalding University. First pitch is scheduled for 2:30 PM with the second game to follow around 4:30.