MARS HILL, N.C. – The Mars Hill softball team dropped two games to Peach Belt member Young Harris on Wednesday afternoon at Ponder Field. The Lions offense struggled in both games of the doubleheader, losing 2-0 in the first followed by a 6-0 defeat in the nightcap. MHU is now 6-14 overall, while YHC improved to 16-4 overall.
GAME ONE: MHU 0, YHC 2
Young Harris struck for a run in the top of the first, but starting pitcher Sydney Elkin worked around a huge jam to limit the damage to just the one run.
After a quiet first two innings the Lions threatened in the bottom of the third. Hollie Norris led the inning off by getting plunked. After a strikeout Cassidy Dahle collected her second hit of the game to put runners on first and second with one out. Addison Harris added a hit up the middle to load the bases with two down, but a pop out ended the threat and left YHC with a 1-0 lead after three.
The Mountain Lions added a run in the top of the fourth after collecting a bases loaded walk to push ahead 2-0. Mars Hill was presented with a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh, putting runners on second and third with two outs, but could not push through, eventually dropping the first game by the same score of 2-0.
Elkin (2-4) was tagged with the tough loss, pitching all seven innings while allowing only two runs and striking out a season-high six batters. Jeanie Perrucci improved to 8-1 after pitching 6.1 innings and not allowing a run and striking out eight. Nikkie Kovalsky picked up the save, tossing the final 2/3 of an inning.
Dahle and Harris led the charge from the plate, both going 2-for-3, while Emiley Burriss and pinch-hitter Taylor Lail also contributed a hit each. Hannah Harrison finished 3-of-4 from the dish for YHC while also providing a RBI. Chandler Stooksbury tallied the other RBI in the game for the Mountain Lions.
GAME TWO: MHU 0, YHC 6
After a scoreless first for both squads Young Harris took the lead with four runs in the top half of the second inning. An error led to two unearned runs for the Mountain Lions. Young Harris added to its lead in the top of the fourth and fifth innings, plating single runs in each and pushing the lead to 6-0.
The Lions were finally able to put pressure on the Mountain Lions' defense in the bottom of the fifth. After having only two runners reach base in the first four innings, a walk followed by a hit-by-pitch put runners on first and second with no outs. Following two punch-outs an error by the YHC shortstop loaded the bases for Mars Hill, but another strikeout kept the Lions off the scoreboard.
Mars Hill survived two errors in the top of the seventh, but could do nothing with its final at-bat, dropping game two by the final of 6-0.
Casey Stanek (2-4) took the loss, tossing two innings and giving up four runs (two earned). Nikkie Kovalsky (8-3) picked up the win, throwing a complete game shutout while allowing just one hit.
Taylor Lail came in during a pinch-hitting role in the seventh inning to tally the only hit for the Blue and Gold. Hannah Harrison led Young Harris with a pair of hits.
The Lions will be back in action tomorrow afternoon, traveling to Bristol, Tenn. to take on the King Tornadoes. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.