Softball splits SAA series with Berry

photo by Jimmy Mitchell
photo by Jimmy Mitchell

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—The Birmingham-Southern softball team split again with Berry College today to go 2-2 against the Vikings in the opening conference series for both teams. Berry won the first game, 3-2, before BSC came back to win 3-0 in the final game. In yesterday's games, BSC won 3-0 before falling 6-2 in game two.

Both teams moved to 6-4 overall and 2-2 in the Southern Athletic Association.

In the first game, the Panthers pulled ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the second courtesy of a home run by senior Alyssa Statham, and then a bases-loaded walk drawn by sophomore Torrie Garner put the Panthers up 2-0 in the third. BSC held the lead until the top of the seventh. With one out on the board, an RBI double scored a runner from second to cut it to 2-1. A ground-out put the game-tying run on third and put BSC one out away from a 2-1 victory, but the next batter walked and then stole second before another RBI double scored two runners to put Berry up 3-2.

Freshman Micaela Beck led off the bottom of the seventh with a single, followed by a pop-up for the first out. Sophomore Torrie Garner then singled to put runners on first and second, and a fly-out advanced the lead runner to third. A walk drawn by senior Bethany Fronk loaded the bases to bring sophomore Alex Skene to the plate. It looked as if BSC would at least tie things up as she sent a line drive to left field, but the Berry defense came up big as the left fielder made the catch to end the game.

Sophomore Taylor Harkins (3-3) threw the complete game, surrendering five hits with seven strikeouts.

Fronk pitched in the final game and retired the first 12 batters she faced, with Berry getting its first hits in the top of the fifth, but she held them scoreless for the shutout. The Panthers scored their first run in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI single by senior Taylor Bassett, and then added two more in the bottom of the sixth. With the bases loaded, junior Maddie Ridgeway singled to right field, and Beck followed that up with an RBI single through the left side to plate the second and last run of the game.

Bassett, Beck, and junior Casey Craig were all 2-3 at the plate, and the Panthers out-hit the Vikings 10-3. Fronk (3-1) threw the complete-game shutout and gave up three hits with six strikeouts.

BSC continues SAA play next weekend, traveling to take on Rhodes in Memphis with doubleheaders Saturday and Sunday at noon.