Lions split with Wingate in 2018 SAC finale

Lions split with Wingate in 2018 SAC finale

CANDLER, N.C. - The Mars Hill (16-18, 7-13 SAC) split their final South Atlantic Conference of the 2018 season against Wingate (23-25, 11-9 SAC) at Enka High School on Saturday afternoon. The Lions took game one by a score of 5-4, but dropped game two, 4-3.

GAME ONE: MHU 5, WU 4

Casey Stanek's walkoff two-RBI single gave the Lions the come-from-behind victory over the Bulldogs in game one.

Trailing 4-3 with the bases loaded and a 0-2 count, Stanek singled to second base, allowing Kayleigh Jonas to score. On the failed throw over to first, Christiana Marasa scored the game-winning run.

The win snapped Wingate's eight-game winning streak.

Opening the scoring in the top of the first inning, Emma Swenson put the Bulldogs up 1-0 with a RBI double to left-center field, plating Naomi Sapp. Ragan Broome tied the game at one in the bottom of the inning, hitting the first pitch she saw over the center field fence for her 12th home run of the season.

In the bottom of the second, Ashley Evans hit a solo home run to left field to put the Lions up 2-1. The lead would remain until the top of the fifth inning.

Swenson, who accounted for all four runs scored by the Bulldogs, had her second RBI of the day with a single to left field that once again scored Sapp. She would give Wingate the lead with a two-run home run to left-center field in the top of the seventh to take a 4-2 advantage into the bottom half of the inning.

Marasa, who came in to pinch hit, hammered the ball into center field for a double that plated Brittany Duncan to pull within one run.

Swenson led the Bulldogs offensively, going 3-for-4 with all four RBI. Aubrey Reep also went 3-for-3 on the day. The Lions had seven different players record one hit on the afternoon. Stanek's two RBI were a team-high.

Stanek earned her 10th win of the season with the complete game performance. She allowed four runs on 10 hits. Rachel Weidner, who came in for relief in the seventh, gave up the Stanek hit and suffered the loss.

GAME TWO: WU 4, MHU 3

A three-run first inning proved to be the difference maker for the Bulldogs in game two of Saturday's doubleheader.

With the bases loaded, Taylor Wells drew a walk that scored Aubrey Reep to give Wingate the early 1-0 lead. Gracyn Polk's two-RBI double put the Bulldogs up 3-0 after the first inning. A RBI double from Mikayla Hannah in the top of the third extended the lead to four runs.

In the bottom of the fourth, Kayleigh Jonas' sacrifice fly put the Lions on the board and cut the Wingate lead back down to three.

Jordan Harris, who entered the bottom of the seventh as a pinch hitter, hit a two-run home run to pull within one. The Bulldogs were able to hold off the Lions in their comeback bid with a groundout to the pitcher with two runners on.

Harris' two RBI were a team-high. Four other Lions recorded one hit in the game. Seven different Bulldogs collected one hit in the game. Polk had a team-high two RBI.

Rachel Weidner earned the win, allowing three runs on five hits while striking out six. Cristi Pressley was credited with the loss, allowing three runs on three hits in 0.2 innings pitched. Brittany Duncan, who pitched 6.1 innings, allowed one run on four hits and struck out five.

Prior to game one, seniors Hollie Norris, Bobbi Jones, Kayleigh Jonas and Taylor Lail, along with Coral Foster, were recognized on Senior Day for their contributions to the Mars Hill softball program.

Mars Hill concludes the 2018 campaign with a non-conference doubleheader against King at Enka High School on Sunday, April 22. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.

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