Louisville, KY- The Berea College softball team split a doubleheader against the Spalding University Golden Eagles Sunday in the wrap-up to the Mountaineers weekend series of games.
In the top of the first inning for the Mountaineers, Hannah Carter doubled to left field and advanced to third base off the following batter's, Riley Lanham, ground out. Carter was left stranded on third though as the next batter recorded the third out, finishing the inning. The game remained scoreless as the Golden Eagles finished the first inning without putting a hitter on base. During the top of the second inning, Abby Nash's solo home run to left field scored the first run of the game to give the Mountaineers a 1-0 lead. Chelsey Parsons' patience at the plate earned her a walk and she moved to second on a fly out by Annelise Hackney before a Madison Stanfield double to right field scored Parsons. Lillian Setters came to the plate and singled which scored Stanfield, giving Berea a 3-0 lead as the top half of the inning came to an end. The score changed again in the top of the third in favor of the Mountaineers as a Lanham single followed by Mercedes Stanfield's double that advanced Lanham to third, putting two baserunners in scoring position. Nash returned to the plate to blast her second home run of the game, this time scoring three runs for the Mountaineers and giving the Mountaineers a 6-0 lead. Parsons then grounded out followed by Hackney reaching first base on an error where she was left. Through three complete inning, Jacquelyne Howard was pitching a perfect game, not allowing a hit or walk from the mound.
The perfect game for Howard stayed intact through the fourth inning as neither team produced any offense, leaving the score as a 6-0 advantage for Berea. The scoring returned in the fifth inning, opening with Kourtney Parker reaching first base on a passed ball after a strike out, followed by Parsons's second walk of the game. Hackney singled to left field to load the bases loaded as one out was on the board. Ma. Stanfield recorded another hit, this time a triple, scoring Parker, Parsons, and Hackney as the team moved ahead 9-0, setting up the mercy rule. The top of the batting order came around as Setters hit a double up the middle scoring Ma. Stanfield. Setters would stay on second as the next two batters recorded outs as the teams went to possibly the final stanza with Berea leading 10-0. A hit by a Golden Eagles player in the bottom of the fifth inning was the first and only hit off Howard, ending her perfect game. The last three batters for Spalding were called out as the Mountaineers mercy ruled the Golden Eagles 10–1 in the first game of the doubleheader.
Setters, Nash, and Ma. Stanfield led the Mountaineers with two hits each. Carter, Lanham, Stanfield, and Hackney each had one hit. Ma. Stanfield and Nash each finished with four RBIs while Setters finished with one RBI. Howard pitched the whole game for the Mountaineers only giving up one hit, one run and striking out four batters. Berea scored 10 runs on 10 hits.
The second game of the doubleheader and fourth game in two days for the Mountaineers saw a reverse of fortunes for the two teams. The hot bats from the first game went cold in the final game as the bats for the Golden Eagles came to life. Berea's first three batters recorded outs in the first inning as Spalding took a 1-0 lead into the second inning. After no hits by the Mountaineers in the second inning, the bottom of the second saw the Golden Eagles come out hot, scoring seven runs to extend their lead to 8-0. Parsons opened the third inning with a single up the middle followed by a single by Markiara Smith to put two runners on base. After the next two batters for the Mountaineers batters were put out, Carter extended the inning with her hit by a pitch, which allowed the next batter, Lanham, to score Parsons with her single. Berea was unable to make a bigger dent in the score as Spalding added three more runs to their score and went on to win the game 11-1 in five innings.
Smith started on the bump for the Mountaineers and was relieved by Parker and Howard, whom finished out the game. Parsons, Lanham, and Smith each had one hit a piece. Lanham finished the game with a RBI.
The softball team will have a two day break before they play a doubleheader against the University of the Cumberlands at home on Wednesday with a start time of 4:30 and the second game to follow.