MARS HILL, N.C. – The Mars Hill softball team (23-18, 7-11 SAC) earned a split over Carson-Newman (24-9, 9-9 SAC) in their 2019 home finale, taking game one by a score of 8-2, but falling in game two, 6-4.
GAME ONE: MHU 8, C-N 2
The Lions used the long ball to their benefit in their victory over Carson-Newman in game one.
Taylor Nilsson's three-run home run in the bottom of the fourth erased a two-run Eagles' lead. The shot was her second of the season.
The Lions added five runs in the bottom of the sixth, highlighted by Ragan Broome's grand slam for her 12th home run of the season. Later in the frame, with the bases loaded, Ashley Evans drew a walk that allowed the pinch running Ann-Marie Gooch to cross home for the Lions eighth run of the contest.
Carson-Newman struck first in the top of the second with a solo home run from pitch Allison Rager. In the top of the fourth, Haley Caldwell hammered a solo home run over the left field wall to put the Eagles up 2-0.
The 8-2 win was the largest margin of victory for the Lions over Carson-Newman in series history.
Broome led the Lions with four RBI while Evans had a game-high three hits. Casey Stanek picked up her 15th win of the season, allowing two runs on six hits in the complete game performance.
GAME TWO: C-N 6, MHU 4
Carson-Newman rallied twice in game two to come away with a vital conference win over the Lions.
Trailing 3-0 entering the top of the fifth, the Eagles used three home runs to take a 4-3 lead. Lacie Rinus hammered a two-run home run over the left field wall to cut the Lions' lead down to one. Abby Fiessinger, the next batter, drilled a shot over the center field wall to tie the game at three. Following a Mars Hill pitching change, Haley Caldwell hit her second home run on the day to give Carson-Newman the lead.
Carson-Newman, in the top of the sixth, retook the lead off of a Leah Sohm RBI double down the left field line. They added an insurance run in the top of the seventh with Allison Rager's RBI single through the left side of the infield to score Caldwell.
After a scoreless two innings, Broome opened the scoring for Mars Hill with a solo home run down the left field line, her second on the day and 13th of the season. The Lions tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the fourth. Ashley Evans' sacrifice fly scored Hannah Smith and advanced Jordan Harris to third. Krista Romine's RBI single through the left side plated Harris for the Lions' third run of the contest.
Caldwell was responsible for three of the Eagles' nine hits in game two. Rinus led the team with two RBI. Broome went 3-for-3, scoring two runs and driving in one in the series finale.
Rinus earned the complete game victory, giving up four runs on seven hits. Casey Stanek was credited with the loss, entering in relief, giving up three runs on five hits in 2.1 innings.
The Lions conclude the regular season on the road versus Queens on Friday, April 19th. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.