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Softball splits against Rhodes

Taylor Bassett (photo by Cari Dean)

MEMPHIS, Tenn.--The Birmingham-Southern softball team came out on the short end of a 10-inning pitcher's duel in game one of a doubleheader, then had its bats come alive to win game two of a conference twin bill against host Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn.

The Panthers fell 2-1 in game one, then rallied to take game two 10-3. The split for the Panthers takes them to 15-7 in conference play and 22-14 overall. The Lynx are now 15-6 in SAA action and 22-13 on the season.

In game one, BSC earned a quick lead after a double from sophomore Alyssa Statham brought home sophomore Bethany Fronk who led the game off with a walk. Rhodes matched the BSC run with one of their own in the bottom half of the third, and the 1-1 tie stood for the next six-and-a-half innings. The Panthers had a chance to score in the top of the 10th, leaving three runners on base, and the Lynx were able to win with a walk-off single by Desiree Buie.

Senior Danielle Rucker led BSC at the plate, going 3-5. The Panthers recorded nine hits while Rhodes had eight.

Fronk (18-11) pitched the complete game, giving up two earned runs with seven strikeouts. Rhodes pitchers Chloe Hundman and Forrest Skelton combined for 10 strikeouts, with Hundman getting the win and Skelton picking up the save.

In the nightcap, Rhodes got on the board first in the bottom of the second with two runs on an RBI double, and the Panthers quickly responded in the top of the next frame. Sophomore Joanna Jernigan and Fronk led off with singles, followed by an out before sophomore Taylor Bassett stepped to the plate and sent the ball over the fence to put BSC up 3-2 for its first lead of the day. Freshmen Katelyn Murray and Deanna Creps both RBI singled in the inning as well to give the Panthers a 5-2 advantage.

Bassett, Statham, and senior Brittany Berkopec all recorded RBIs in the top of the fourth to stretch the lead to 8-2. Rhodes hit a single-run homer in the bottom of the fourth to cut it to 8-3, but that would be the Lynx's final run of the day.

In the top of the sixth, Bassett went long again, hitting her 16th home run of the year and putting the Panthers up 10-3.

Bassett was 3-4 at the plate with five RBI, and BSC out-hit Rhodes 13-10. Creps (6-3) pitched the complete game and gave up 10 hits and three earned runs with four strikeouts.

The series concludes tomorrow with a noon doubleheader.