MARS HILL, N.C. – The Mars Hill softball team claimed a 5-4 extra innings win over Milligan College on Wednesday afternoon at Ponder Field. The Lions improved to 3-7 overall, while Milligan dropped to 3-4.
Milligan posted a run in the top of the first. After loading the bases with no outs the Buffaloes collected an infield single with two outs to push ahead, but Stanek limited them to minimal damage.
The Lions came right back in the bottom of the inning to take their first lead. Cassidy Dahle led the frame off getting hit by a pitch before moving to second on a sacrifice bunt from Ragan Broome and third after a fly out to center. Dahle was able to touch the plate after Lail teed off on a 2-1 pitch and blasted it over the centerfield wall.
However, that lead didn't last long as Milligan came out hitting in the second, starting the inning with two doubles and a single sandwiched in between, tying the contest at 2-all.
The Buffaloes regained the lead in the top of the fifth when Rachel Coffey lifted a ball over the left field fence for a two-run homerun. Mars Hill was equal to the task in the home-half of the fifth. Ragan Broome coaxed a one-out walk before coming around to score on a majestic two-run blast by Jonas, knotting the score at 4-all.
The Lions were presented a golden opportunity in the bottom of the seventh. Broome led the frame off with a double down the leftfield line, but was unable to score the winning run as Milligan pitching retired the next three batters to send the game into extra innings.
After escaping a jam in the top of the eighth Mars Hill gained the one run it needed to seal the win in the bottom of the eighth. Stanek led the inning off with a rope to right field and Emily Crouse walked to put runners on first and second with no outs. Krista Romine advanced both runners with a perfectly executed sacrifice bunt and pinch hitter Shelby Culler lifted a fly ball to right that was just deep enough to score Ally Sherman, who pinch ran for Stanek, from third.
Sydney Elkin (1-2) picked up her first win of the season, pitching 3.2 innings of three hit, no run relief. Jaclyn Jenkins was tagged with the loss for Milligan, recording 3.1 innings and giving up two runs on five hits.
The Lions will return to action on Saturday, February 25 as they travel to Central, S.C. to take on the Warriors of Southern Wesleyan University. The first game of the double header is scheduled to start at 1 p.m.