Softball splits with Rhodes to win opening SAA series

Taylor Bassett (photo by Jimmy Mitchell)
Taylor Bassett (photo by Jimmy Mitchell)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—The Birmingham-Southern softball team split at home today with Rhodes to win the Southern Athletic Association series against the Lynx, three games to one. BSC won the first game today 5-2, but lost the nightcap 8-7 after Rhodes scored three in the top of the seventh inning.

The Panthers move to 6-8 overall and 3-1 in the league, while the Lynx move to 12-6 overall and 1-3 in the SAA.

BSC used a scant three hits in the first game to defeat Rhodes. After Jessica Brown homered for the Lynx in the top of the third for the first run of the game, BSC scored four runs in the bottom of the third. The first two were as a result of a wild pitch, and the other two were off a double up the middle by freshman Amanda Ballew. The Panthers scored again on a wild pitch in the bottom of the fourth. Rhodes added one more in the top of the seventh on an Erin Parker RBI single, but it wasn't enough and the Panthers got the series win with the 5-2 victory.

Freshman Taylor Harkins (3-2) threw the complete game, allowing seven hits and one earned run with one strikeout while allowing no walks for the second straight game.

In the second inning of game two, Rhodes got on the board in the top of the second, scoring four runs with two outs on a two-RBI single by Amber Hunt, a Parker RBI single, and a Christine Hume RBI double. BSC answered in the home half of the second, scoring five runs with two outs on the board. Freshman Alex Skene doubled to left field to plate freshman Taylor Brewer, who reached on a walk, and Skene scored on the next at-bat on a Rhodes error. After a pitching change by the Lynx, Ridgway stole second, and junior Hannah Harris singled, allowing Ridgway to score. Harris stole second and junior Bethany Fronk walked before junior Taylor Bassett doubled to bring both runners in and put the Panthers up 5-4.

A sac-fly from Brewer in the bottom of the third extended BSC's lead to 6-4, but Rhodes cut it to 6-5 in the top of the sixth on another Parker RBI single. The Lynx took back the lead in the top of the seventh, scoring three on an RBI double by Makenzie Martin and a two-RBI single by Danielle Smith to pull ahead 8-6. A Bassett home run in the bottom of the seventh cut the lead to one, but it wasn't enough and the Panthers fell to the Lynx in the final game of the series.

Fronk (3-6) pitched the complete game and allowed 14 hits and seven earned runs with two strikeouts and one walk. The Panthers had seven total hits, led by Bassett who was 2-4 at the plate with three RBI.

BSC is on the road next weekend traveling to Jackson, Miss., to face Millsaps in a conference series. Doubleheaders begin at noon on Saturday, March 15, and Sunday, March 16.