March 28, 2013

Softball Splits Doubleheader with Fighting Squirrels

Written by Sean Dahlin 

BUENA VISTA, Va.—Thanks to sophomore pitcher Annie Biggs' (Phoenix, Ariz.) five-strikeout, one-run complete game performance, the Southern Virginia University softball team won the opener 7-1 at The Fields on Thursday before dropping the final contest of the doubleheader 9-1 to Mary Baldwin College. 

"Annie [Biggs] hit her spots and kept opposing batters off-balance, and we played solid defense with timely hitting in game one," said third-year Head Coach Duste Grawrock. "We unfortunately couldn't carry that momentum over to the second game."  

After Southern Virginia (8-13) took the first of the twin bill in its six-run victory, Mary Baldwin (2-22) bounced back from the loss to win 9-1 in the five-inning closing competition to snap the Knights' three-game winning streak.

The twin bill began with Southern Virginia plating the first two run of the day on a pair of RBI-singles to second base by junior third baseman Sara Harmon (Buena Vista, Va.) in the bottom of the second and junior Ayla Anderson-Stebbings (Phoenix, Ariz.) in the fourth inning respectively.

The Fighting Squirrels scored their lone run of the game in the top of the fifth on a sacrifice fly from Lindsey Shifflet to bring home teammate Jonquil Brown.

The Knights answered back with five unanswered runs highlighted by senior Malia Falevai's (Mesa, Ariz.)—who improved her team-leading batting average to .409 by going 8-for-11 in the last four contests—RBI-single past the infield in the bottom of the fifth and sophomore catcher Sarah Edwards' (Phoenix, Ariz.) single to center field in the sixth to score teammates freshman Chance Hegsted (Rupert, Idaho) and senior Laura Tome (Pasco, Wash.).

Eight of nine Southern Virginia starters each recorded a base-hit while Edwards, Falevai, Harmon, Che. Hegsted and Anderson-Stebbings registered at least one RBI apiece.

Biggs (2-6) tossed a complete-game gem and allowed one run on two hits while Mary Baldwin's starting pitcher Jessica Hogle (1-12) gave up nine hits and seven runs in the loss.

In game two, the Fighting Squirrels jumped ahead scoring five runs through two innings of play on a two-RBI single to right-center in the opening inning followed by three more run-scoring singles from Tassany Forero, Olivia Compton and Janie Brothers in the top of the second.

The Knights cut into the deficit (5-1) in the bottom of the second as Harmon touched home plate on a single to left field by Biggs to help out her own cause.  

Both teams put zeros on the scoreboard through next 12 outs before Mary Baldwin ended the silence with five runs in the top of the fifth inning on route to the eight-run win.

Compton (1-8) earned the win for the Fighting Squirrels throwing 5.0 innings while allowing one run on six hits. Biggs moved to 2-7 on the season, giving up five runs on seven hits in her 2.0 innings of work.        

Che. Hegsted led the offensive charge going 2-for-3 with a double in addition to 1-for-1 performances at the plate for pinch hitters freshman Alina Grawrock (Aloha, Ore.) and junior Marva Warndahl (Woodland, Wash.).

Softball finishes its 2013 season homestand on Tues., Apr. 2, as four seniors—Falevai, McKenzy Mackay (Kaysville, Utah), Dinah Rogers (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and Tome—play in their final games as Knights. 

Watch live video as the Knights host the Owls.