MARS HILL, N.C. – The Mars Hill softball team dropped a pair of games to Carson-Newman on Wednesday afternoon at Ponder Field. The Lions fell to 7-19 overall and 0-4 in the conference after losing by scores of 9-2 and 9-2. The Eagles are now 23-7 overall and 4-0 in the league.
GAME ONE: MHU 2, C-N 9
Carson-Newman struck for a run in the top of the first. After loading the bases an RBI groundout by Lacie Rinus scored Abby Fiessinger, who led the frame off with a walk. The Lions were able to get out of the jam giving up just the single run.
The Eagles ballooned their lead to 5-0 in the top of the second with a four-run explosion, the big blow coming off the bat of Taylor Scott as she blasted a three-run homerun to left field.
Mars Hill got on the board in the home half of the second when Addison Harris connected on her first homerun of the season, blasting a 1-2 pitch down the right field line and over the fence to cut the Eagle lead to 5-1.
Casey Stanek pulled the Lions one run closer in the bottom of the third as she blasted a two-out homerun to right center for her first dinger of the season.
Three errors by the Blue and Gold defense in the top of the fourth led to the Eagles scoring two unearned runs and padding the lead to 7-2. KaraLynne Levi tallied an RBI during the at-bat. A pair of runs in the fifth pushed the lead to 9-2. That would be all the runs C-N needed, picking up the win by that same score.
Stanek led the Lions offensively with two hits in three at-bats, including her homerun and RBI. Harris added the only other run batted in for the Blue and Gold. Fiessinger went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and three runs scored for the Eagles.
Sydney Elkin (3-6) was tagged with the loss after pitching all seven innings and giving up 11 hits and nine runs (six earned) to go along with one walk and one strikeout. Lacie Rinus (12-3) earned the win, tossing seven innings, allowing seven hits and two runs, while striking out 10 batters.
GAME TWO: MHU 2, C-N 9
Just like game one Carson-Newman took the early advantage, posting five runs on just one hit in the first inning. That hit being a two-run homerun by Katie Pritchett. The Lions threatened in the bottom of the first, placing runners on second and third with one out, but was unable to push across a run. Addison Harris ripped a double to left center during the at-bat.
After three innings of scoreless softball the Mars Hill bats came to life in the bottom of the fourth. Following two outs to lead the inning off Shelby Culler singled to shallow center to start a two-out rally. Emily Crouse added a single to left and Krista Romine roped a double to left center, plating Culler and Crouse and cutting the Eagle lead to 5-2 heading to the fifth inning.
However, C-N came back in the top if the fifth and added two runs on three hits to extend the lead back out to five runs, 7-2. The Eagles added 2 runs in the top of the seventh to pad the lead, eventually taking the series sweep with a final game two score of 9-2.
Romine led the Lions at the plate in game two, collecting one hit in her only at-bat, while driving in the only two runs of the game for MHU. Cheyenne Boles was 2-for-4 from the dish for the Eagles and drove in three RBIs in the win.
Shelby Culler dropped to 2-6 on the season as she was issued the loss after pitching 4.1 innings and allowing seven runs, three earned, while scattering only three hits. Allison Webster improved to 11-4 overall, picking up the win after tossing 7.0 innings and giving up two runs on six hits.
The Lions will return to the diamond on Saturday, March 25 as they travel to Wingate, N.C. to take on the Bulldogs in a South Atlantic Conference tilt. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.