BREVARD, NC (March 7, 2009) -- The Montreat College Softball team traveled to Brevard, NC on Saturday for non-conference action. The two teams split in their first meeting earllier this season at Montreat.
In game one, Brevard busted out early with 13 runs in the first inning. Montreat would put five runs on the board, but it was not enough to catch up.
Tornado starting pitcher Gift (5-3) gave up five runs on eight hits, and struck out five in her fourth win of the season while Cavalier Rachel Stowe
suffered the loss. Stowe allowed only five earned runs, but was betrayed by her defense as the Tornados scored eight unearned runs to take the win.
Montreat went three up-three down in the top of the first, leaving way to the Tornados offense.
The Lady Cavaliers responded in the second as senior Amy Vogel
placed one of Gift's pitches over the left field wall with Olivia Huffman
on base to put the score back at 8-2.
Brevard reopened the eight-run lead in the bottom of the second as Katie Brown scored on a wild pitch and Sarah Carlos drove in Kasey Fagan with a single through the right side of the infield.
Montreat pushed across another run in the top of the third as Jamie Poling
scored on Erin Cross'
double to right center, but Brevard matched the run in the bottom half of the inning as Katie Brown drove Clayton home with a base hit up the middle to put the score at 11-3 after three innings.
Needing three runs in the top of the fifth to keep the game alive, the Lady Cavaliers came close, scoring two as Huffman
nailed a double down the right field line scoring Cassie Randall
and Whitney Roper
, but Gift forced Vogel
to pop out to Clayton at shortstop to end the game.
Play was closer in game two, as the Cavs tied the score in the top of the seventh to force the game into extra innings. Brevard controlled the first six innings, before a blast by Montreat's Mandi Pike
over the centerfield fence in the top of the seventh tied the game up and sent Brevard and Montreat to extra innings. The two teams traded runs in the extra frames before a single by Clayton scored Carlos from second to complete the sweep for Brevard, 6-5.
Gift received the win, pitching 1.2 innings in relief of starter Liz Houser who went eight and a third, giving up 11 hits and striking out 10 batters for the day. Houser gave up five runs, four earned, in her longest stint on the mound as a Tornado. Rachel Stowe
pulled double duty for the Cavaliers for the afternoon, pitching 9.1 innings, giving up eight hits and six runs, while striking out eight in recording the loss.
Brevard opened up the scoring in the bottom of the first as Mallory tagged a double to left center and scored on Jennifer Brown's two-out single.
Montreat responded in the top of the second as Vogel
led off the inning with a double to left and scored three batters later on Tiffany Davis'
single that landed just inside the right field line.
In the bottom of the third, a play happened that made a direct impact on the game. A grounder hit by Clayton to the shortstop was fielded, but the throw was wide, forcing first baseman Erin Cross
to come off the bag into the path of the runner. Clayton and Cross collided and by the time the dust settled, Clayton was called out and Cross had to come off the field due to injury, making way for new Lady Cavalier first baseman Pike.
Brevard tacked on runs in the bottom of the fifth and sixth as Brooker scored on a Stowe wild pitch in the fifth and Katie Thornburg stroked a single to right center driving in Mallory to give the Tornados a 3-1 lead.
In the top of the seventh, with one on and two outs, Pike
laced a 2-0 offering from Houser over the left field fence tying the game up and Stowe
put the Tornados down in order in the bottom of the inning sending the game into extra innings.
The Lady Cavaliers scored two in the top of the eighth as Davis
home with a single to left and freshman Tameron Sealey
plated Kerby Barkdoll
on a base hit as Montreat went up 5-3.
Brevard, however, responded with a pair of their own in the bottom of the eighth as Mallory continued her Saturday afternoon heroics with a double to the fence in left center, scoring Curlee. A two-out single by Katie Brown scored Mallory as the teams went to the ninth.
Montreat threatened in the top of the ninth, putting two runners on with one out, but Gift, coming in to relieve Houser, struck out Vogel swinging and a diving catch by Sarah Carlos at first base on Morgan Mills' line drive ended the inning with the score intact.
One-two-three innings in both the bottom of the ninth and top of the tenth led way to late game heroics by Clayton as she placed a one-out single up the middle past the glove of Stowe to score Carlos from second as Brevard took home the sweep, 6-5.
Head Coach Lee Swanson was not pleased overall with his team's performance. "We made too many mistakes to win either game. As a team we must become committed to the same common goal of getting better every game and right now we are not."
Montreat drops to 6-10 overall and returns to action on Thursday, March 12 as the team travels to Limestone College for a 2:00 pm doubleheader.