GAFFNEY, S.C. – The Mars Hill softball team dropped a pair of game to Limestone College in non-conference action on Saturday, February 18 at Babe Ruth Field. The Lions struggled offensively, dropping the first game 2-0, before falling in the nightcap by a final of 4-1. MHU is now 2-7 on the season while the Saints improved to 10-2.
The Lions looked to strike early after Cassidy Dahle led the inning off with a single to short before Ragan Broome had an excellent at-bat, earning a walk to place runners on first and second with no outs. However, a fly out followed by back-to-back strikeouts ended the threat.
Limestone took advantage of the missed opportunity from the Lions, scoring a single run in the bottom of the first. Bailie Mabry hit a solo homerun to lead the game off, giving the Saints the early lead.
From that point the game became a pitcher's duel as both offenses struggled to piece anything together. Mars Hill put two runners on with two outs in the top of the third, but were unable to plate the tying run. The Saints added an insurance run in the bottom of the fourth after Jordan Howe singled up the middle to bring Sydney Turner home.
That was all the runs Limestone needed as Mars Hill could muster only one hit over its next nine outs, eventually dropping the contest 2-0. Casey Stanek (1-2) was tagged with the tough loss, pitching six innings, while giving up two runs on five hits and striking out two. Courtney Smith (5-0) earned the win after throwing all seven innings and not allowing a run.
After a quiet top of the first Limestone used the long ball to strike early in the bottom of the first. This time Emma Swearingen hit a two-run shot to left center to give LC the lead. Mars Hill came back in the top of the second with a single run.
Taylor Lail coaxed a leadoff walk before consecutive strikeouts left a runner on first with two outs. Coral Foster then ripped a double to the left center gap to advance Lail to third. Emily Crouse laced a single back through the box, collecting one of her two hits during game two, to cut the deficit in half.
Limestone added single runs in the fourth and fifth to break the game open at 4-1. That score would also be the final for game two as Mars Hill had no answer for Saints pitching.
Shelby Culler (1-2) was credited with the loss, tossing 3.1 innings and allowing three runs on five hits. Josie Weber (3-1) collected the win as her stat line read seven innings and one run.
The Lions will return to the friendly confines of Ponder Field on Wednesday, February 22 to take on Milligan in a twin-billing. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.