CENTRAL, S.C. – The Mars Hill softball team swept Southern Wesleyan in a non-conference double-header on Saturday afternoon. The Lions improved to 5-7 overall with the 8-2 and 9-3 wins over the Warriors, who dropped to 1-10 overall.
GAME ONE: MHU 8, SWU 2
After a quiet first inning Mars Hill stamped the board with a pair of runs in the second. Defensive miscues by SWU led to the early lead for the Lions. Shelby Culler led the inning off reaching on an error by the left fielder and advanced to second on an errant throw. Emily Crouse laid down a nice bunt single and advanced to third after an error by the third baseman, allowing Culler to score. Krista Romine then added an RBI single.
Mars Hill posted a three-spot in the third to blow the game open at 5-0. Taylor Lail led things off with a double to center. Following two consecutive outs Crouse earned her second hit in as many innings, driving Lail in to score. Jordan Harris ripped a double, scoring Crouse before coming around to touch the plate after another Romine RBI.
Southern Wesleyan tried to make things interesting in the bottom of the sixth, punching in two runs to cut the deficit to 5-2, but a three-run top of the seventh sealed the deal for the Lions and game one.
Ragan Broome led the Lions offensively in the first game, going 3-for-4 from the dish and driving in a run, while Romine's two knocked in were tops on the team. Shelby Culler (2-2) evened her record on the season, throwing all seven innings while allowing five hits and two runs (one earned). Josie Edwards (0-2) took the loss after allowing five runs on five hits over three innings.
GAME TWO: MHU 9, SWU 3
The Lions wasted little time jumping out to a lead, plating five runs over the first two innings. Casey Stanek contributed an RBI double in the first, while Emily Crouse tallied an RBI single in the three-run top of the first.
Stanek was at it again in the top of the second. With two outs and the bases loaded, she ripped a double to plate two runs and give the Lions the 5-0 lead. Southern Wesleyan added a run in the bottom of third to cut into the Lions lead, but were limited to minimal damage.
After a pop out to start the top of the fourth, Ragan Broome got things started with a single to center. She then stole second and took third after Kaleigh Jonas reached on an error by second. Emiley Burriss roped a single to left field, allowing Broome to touch the plate. Crouse continued her hot streak with an RBI double to give the Lions a comfortable 7-2 lead after four. The Lions added an unearned run in the fifth.
SWU tallied two scores in the bottom of the sixth to narrow the margin to 8-3, but Mars Hill added an insurance run in the seventh, thanks in part to a hustle RBI by Cassidy Allen, beating the wrap to first and allowing Hollie Norris to score.
Ragan Broome once again led the way for the Lions as she went 4-for-5 at the plate, bringing her two-game total to 7-of-9. Stanek chipped in two hits and three RBIs, while Crouse and Burriss also collected a pair of hits in the win.
Sydney Elkin (2-2) picked up the win after tossing a complete game, allowing three runs, while scattering six hits and striking out a pair. Lucy Wolff (1-5) was credited with the loss, pitching 4.1 innings and giving up eight runs on 10 hits.
The Lions will make the quick turnaround as they play host to the Francis Marion Patriots tomorrow at Ponder Field. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.