MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. - Sarah Saunders allowed only one unearned run in 6 1/3 innings, while Jesse Crist and Rebekah McDaniel sparked the offense with two runs batted in apiece as Mount Olive defeated Pfeiffer 6-1 in game one of a Conference Carolinas softball doubleheader Friday at Nancy Chapman Cassell Field. The twinbill was the Trojans' home finale. Pfeiffer gained a split with a 5-3 victory in game two as the Falcons rallied with four runs in the sixth inning.
Mount Olive (20-14, 8-4 Conference Carolinas) broke a scoreless tie in game one with four runs in the bottom of the third after the first two Trojan batters were retired. Three consecutive walks loaded the bases and Kalie Smith was hit by a pitch to bring in the first run. Robbin Kennedy scored the second run on a wild pitch and another walk loaded the bases again.
McDaniel then drove in the final two runs with a line single to center, the Trojans’ only hit of the inning. Mount Olive sent 10 batters to the plate in the inning. Crist singled in runs in the fourth and sixth innings for the Trojans.
Saunders (3-0) got out of a one-out bases loaded jam in the second with a strikeout looking and a groundout. She scattered eight hits and overcame leadoff hits in each of the first four innings. Saunders struck out two and walked two before giving way to Lauren Smith in the seventh. Smith retired both batters she faced.
Pfeiffer (15-26, 5-11) avoided the shutout on Kirsten Patterson’s rbi-triple in the fifth inning after a Falcon runner reached base on an error.
In the nightcap, Megan Ready sparked a two-run rally in the bottom of the fifth as the Trojans broke a 1-1 tie. Ready, making her first plate appearance of the day, kept the inning alive with a two-out single. Kennedy capped a 10-pitch at bat with a double to left-center to drive in Ready and give Mount Olive its first lead of the game. Kennedy scored on Christie Wright’s single up the middle to give the Trojans a 3-1 lead.
Wright (3-6) got the start in the circle for Mount Olive and limited Pfeiffer to a single run through five innings before running into trouble in the sixth. Ashlee Ellen led off with a single and the Falcons loaded the bases on a one-out single by Tyresha Ellis and a walk to the No. 9 batter. Ellen scored on Celia Few’s sacrifice fly and Pfeiffer tied the game 3-3 on Emily Workman’s rbi-single. Melanie Conklin put the Falcons ahead to stay with a two-run triple to right-center.
Pfeiffer’s defense robbed the Trojans of potential base hits in the bottom of the sixth. Kalie Smith hit a shot that appeared to be going through the left side, but Falcon third baseman Ellen gloved the ball on the first hop to prevent the base hit. Left fielder Sadie Saine, who had just entered the game that inning, made a shoestring catch on Crist’s line drive. Falcon pitcher Shelby Brown (8-8) went the distance and retired the side in order in the bottom of the seventh for the win.
Wright reached base in each of her six plate appearances in the doubleheader. After going 1-for-1 with a single and three walks in the opener, she was 2-for-2 with a single, double and walk in game two.