BLACK MOUNTAIN, N.C. - The Mars Hill softball team picked up two more victories over the weekend, downing West Virginia Tech and Montreat on Sunday afternoon at Roxy Hines Field in Black Mountain, North Carolina. The victories extend their winning streak to five straight.
GAME ONE: MHU 3, WVUT 2
Tied at two entering the bottom of the seventh inning, Mars Hill's Krista Romine led off the inning by getting on base from an error on the Golden Bears' shortstop. While Ragan Broome was at-bat, Romine advanced to second off of a passed ball to get in scoring position. As Broome laid down a bunt, an errant throw from the pitcher sailed over the head of the first baseman, allowing Romine to round third and score the game-winning run for the Lions.
The Golden Bears put Mars Hill on their heels early in the contest, scoring two runs in the top of the first inning. A leadoff double from Skylar Connelly opened the contest. Following a Kacie Cahill walk, Kayla Harbin's groundout put the two runners in scoring position. Back-to-back singles from Olivia Morey and Hannah Calhoun plated both Connelly and Cahill to give West Virginia Tech a 2-0 lead entering the bottom of the frame.
Broome singled in the bottom of the first inning to get the Mars Hill offense going. A roller to the pitcher off of the bat of Christiana Marasa advanced Broome to second with one out. Broome took third on a passed ball and scored on a RBI groundout from Kayleigh Jonas to cut the lead in half.
The Lions would tie the game in the bottom of the fourth. With two outs and Cassidy Allen on first, Romine drove a ball to deep right-center field. Allen crossed home before Romine was thrown out trying to extend the double into a triple, knotting the game at two.
West Virginia Tech's Amanda McDonald and Marasa were engaged in a pitching duel through six. Marasa pitched six innings strong, allowing six hits and striking out one. Brittany Duncan took the mound at the top of the seventh and got the first two batters out with relative ease. Duncan then walked Connelly and gave up a single to Cahill to give the Golden Bears two runners on base. Casey Stanek entered the game and on three pitches, made the pinch-hitting Kayte Blandford look at strike three to get the Lions out of the inning unscathed.
Stanek earned the victory for her fourth of the year. McDonald allowed two earned runs and struck out two in the losing effort.
GAME TWO: MHU 13, MON 2
The Mars Hill bat's came alive in the top of the seventh inning, scoring 10 runs to blow out Montreat late in the second game of the day.
Leading 3-2 entering the top of the frame, Krista Romine opened the inning getting hit by a pitch. Shae Condon laid down a bunt that was tough for Cavaliers' pitcher Ronnie Ellis to handle, allowing Condon to beat out the throw. Ragan Broome sent a ball to deep right-center, but could not be caught by the right fielder, allowing the bases to get loaded. A shot back at the pitcher off the bat of Addison Harris scored Romine as Ellis attempted to throw out Condon at third who beat the throw with a slide.
Kayleigh Jonas kept the offense coming with a single to the left-side that plated Condon for the Lions' fifth run. Ellis was swapped out for Danyelle Joli, but the Mars Hill offense continued its run with a two RBI double from Ashley Evans the allowed Broome and Harris to score. With runners in scoring position, the Lions sent a groundball and line drive to Mikki Shelton for the first two outs of the inning. Bobbi Jones extended the lead with a double to left-center field, clearing the bases and giving Mars Hill the 9-2 lead.
Cycling back to the top of the order, Romine was hit by a pitch for the second time, putting her on first. A single from Condon scored Jones. Broome, in her second at-bat of the inning, launched a three-run homerun over the left-center field fence to score the 10th run of the inning.
Christiana Marasa ended the contest with a 1-2-3 inning to secure the Lions' perfect weekend and Mars Hill's fifth win in a row.
Mars Hill scored the first run of the game in the top of the second inning. With the bases loaded, Harris drew a walk that scored Jones. They tacked on two more runs in the top of the fifth. Leading off the inning, Taylor Lail sent a solo shot over the left field fence, just inside the foul poll to give the Lions a 2-0 lead. With two outs and two on, Broome singled up the middle allowing Jones to score from second base.
Montreat answered in the bottom of the fifth, scoring two runs to cut the deficit to one. With two runners in scoring position, Shelton grounded out to Condon, allowing Alicia Gil to score the Cavaliers' first run of the game. Coming in to pinch hit, Victoria Hill reached on an error with Morgan Meredith scoring the run.
Broome led all players with four RBIs, going 3-for-6 from the plate. Jonas, Lail and Condon each had two hits and one RBI.
Casey Stanek pitched five innings, allowing one earned run on five hits to pick up her third win of the weekend, fifth of the season. Ellis was credited with the loss in 0.2 innings pitched, giving up two earned runs in the seventh inning.
The Lions improve to 8-4 on the year with West Virginia Tech falling to 1-9 and Montreat sliding to 2-10 on the season.
Mars Hill hosts Limestone on Wednesday, March 7 at Ponder Field. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.