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March 15, 2014

Softball splits with Millsaps to open series

JACKSON, Miss.—After winning 11-3 in five innings in game one, the Birmingham-Southern softball team dropped a close game two, 5-4, Saturday afternoon to open the Southern Athletic Association series against Millsaps in Jackson, Miss.

The Panthers move to 7-9 overall and 4-2 in the SAA, while the Majors now stand at 12-3 overall and 3-3 in league play.

BSC exploded for 15 hits in the 11-3 game one victory. After falling behind 1-0 when Millsaps scored in the bottom of the first inning, the Panthers scored four in the top of the third. Junior Bethany Fronk singled up the middle for two RBI, freshman Torrie Garner RBI singled to left field, and freshman Taylor Brewer RBI singled to third, putting BSC up 4-1 for a lead they would never relinquish.

The Panthers added five runs in the top of the fourth as Garner hit an infield RBI single, junior Alyssa Statham sent a two-RBI double to left-center, and Brewer hit a two-RBI single to left. The Majors added two more in the bottom of the fourth to cut it to 9-3, but BSC scored twice more in the top of the fifth on a two-RBI single by Amanda Ballew to achieve the eight-run advantage. Millsaps was scoreless in the bottom of the fifth, ending the game early for the Panther win.

Harris and Garner were both 3-4 at the plate, and Brewer led with three RBI. Freshman Taylor Harkins (4-2) started in the circle for BSC and went 3.1 innings, giving up two earned runs and five walks with two strikeouts. Fronk came in for the final 1.2 innings and allowed two hits with one strikeout.

In game two, BSC opened by scoring a run in the top of the first on a Statham RBI single, and the lead held until Millsaps responded with three in the bottom of the third. The Panthers pulled back ahead in the top of the fifth when Fronk scored on an error and Garner hit a two-run bomb, putting BSC up 4-3. In the bottom of the sixth, the Majors scored twice to take the lead once again, 5-4, and held on for the eventual win.

Fronk (3-7) threw the complete game, giving up nine hits and five earned runs with six strikeouts. The Panthers recorded six hits, led by Statham who was 2-4 at the plate.

The series concludes tomorrow with a noon doubleheader.