Softball Drops Season Opening Doubleheader

Written by Chris Pendleton

ROCKY MOUNT, N.C.—The Southern Virginia University softball team dropped both games of its season opening doubleheader at North Carolina Wesleyan College on Tuesday falling 3-4 and 4-5 to the Battling Bishops.

Game One

The first game between Southern Virginia (0-2) and N.C. Wesleyan (2-0) saw three-and-a-half scoreless innings before the Battling Bishops jumped on the scoreboard first with a single run in the bottom of the fourth. 

Southern Virginia answered back in the top of the fifth when freshman Britney Jones (Spanish Fork, Utah) singled to center field scoring freshman Trichell Schwab (Bear Lake, Idaho), who tripled in the game's pervious at bat, evening the score at one run apiece. Senior Mallory King (Tivoli, N.Y.) scored three batters later after two errors by N.C. Wesleyan extended the inning allowing the Knights to take a 2-1 lead into the bottom of the fifth.

The Knights' lead would not last long, however, as the Battling Bishops responded to their first deficit of the day with a three-run bottom of the fifth reclaiming the lead from Southern Virginia.

Still trailing by two (2-4) following a scoreless sixth inning, Southern Virginia pulled within one of N.C. Wesleyan on a King double that scored Jones, who had moved into scoring position by stealing second after reaching base on an one-out single.

With one out and King on second, Southern Virginia was unable to send the game to extra innings as N.C. Wesleyan ending the rally by retiring the Knights' next two batters.

Jones finished 3-for-4 from the plate with one RBI, while freshman Sarah Edwards (Phoenix, Ariz.) and Schwab each recorded two hits in the defeat.

Sophomore right-handed pitcher McKenzy Mackay (Kaysville, Utah) picked up the loss in her first start of the year allowing 7 hits and 4 runs—3 earned—while striking out six batters in 6 innings on the mound. 

Game Two

In the second game of Tuesday's doubleheader, N.C. Wesleyan scored four unanswered runs through five innings of play before Southern Virginia exploded for a three-run top of the sixth pulling within one (3-4) of the Battling Bishops entering the bottom half of the inning.

Jones began the Knights' sixth-inning rally scoring on her own leadoff triple after an N.C. Wesleyan throwing error allowed her to advance home from third. After King walked and stole second, Edwards launched the first homer of her collegiate career—a two-run shot over the left-field fencing cutting the Knights' deficit to one (3-4) heading into the bottom of the sixth.

Trailing by two (3-5) heading into the top of the seventh after N.C. Wesleyan tacked on a security run in the bottom of the sixth, the Knights found themselves in the exact position as in Game One needing two runs in their final turn at the plate to send the game into overtime.

After Seneca Hartzel (Coolidge, Ariz.) scored on an N.C. Wesleyan error to pull within one (4-5) of the Battling Bishops, Southern Virginia loaded the bases with two outs, but could not deliver the game-tying run before falling by a single-run for a second time on the afternoon.

"Today was a good starting point for our very young team," said second-year Head Coach Duste Grawrock. "We are further along this season than we were last year at this same time and with two games under our belt we are anxious to move forward and make needed adjustment. We're moving in the right direction."