Softball wins two on the road against Centre

Casey Craig (photo by Jimmy Mitchell)
Casey Craig (photo by Jimmy Mitchell)

DANVILLE, Ky.—Highlighted by three home runs, including two from junior Casey Craig, the Birmingham-Southern softball team moved into first place in the conference standings with two wins against Centre College, 5-2 and 10-0, Saturday afternoon in Danville, Ky.

The Panthers moved to 15-5-1 overall and 9-2-1 in the Southern Athletic Association, extending their win streak to seven games, while the Colonels fell to 8-4 overall and 7-3 in the SAA.

BSC got on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning in game one when senior Bethany Fronk stole second and senior Taylor Bassett scored on the throw. Centre answered with two runs in the bottom of the fourth for their only lead of the day, and the 2-1 lead would stand until the top of the seventh when senior Joanna Jernigan reached on an error, made it to third on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore Amanda Ballew, and then scored on a wild pitch to tie it up at 2-2. After sophomore Maddie Ridgway drew a walk, freshman Micaela Beck hit her fifth home run of the season to put the Panthers up 4-2. Later in the inning, with two outs on the board, Fronk singled to plate Bassett and extend the lead to 5-2. BSC held Centre scoreless in the bottom of the seventh.

Fronk (9-1) started and went six innings, allowing six hits, no earned runs, and no walks, with five strikeouts. Sophomore Taylor Harkins came in for the seventh inning and got her second save of the year, giving up a walk with no hits and one strikeout.

Ballew was 2-3 at the plate, and Fronk and senior Alyssa Statham were both 2-4, while Beck led with two RBI.

Game two lasted five innings, with the Panthers scoring four in the top of the second thanks to a two-RBI double from sophomore Alex Skene and a two-run homer from Craig. A Fronk RBI single in the top of the third put BSC up 5-0, and a Beck sac-fly in the top of the fourth made it 6-0. In the top of the fifth, Bassett scored on a passed ball and sophomore Torrie Garner scored on an error, putting the Panthers up 8-0, and another two-run Craig homer pushed it to 10-0 heading to the bottom of the fifth. The Colonels were unable to score and the game ended early.

Craig was 3-3 and Fronk was 2-2, while Bassett and Garner were both 2-3 at the plate, and Craig led with four RBI. Harkins (7-4) pitched the complete-game shutout, giving up three hits and no walks with seven strikeouts.

The series concludes tomorrow with games three and four beginning at noon EDT.