Mount Olive Posts 3-2 Record At Shaw Softball Challenge

Mount Olive Posts 3-2 Record At Shaw Softball Challenge

Lauren McGrath's bases-loaded walk-off rbi-single lifted University of Mount Olive over nationally 20th-ranked California (Pa.) 6-5 at the Shaw University Softball Challenge Saturday at Raleigh, N.C. The win was the Trojans' second in three days over a national top 25 team.

The tournament was originally scheduled for three days, but Friday's storm that blew through Eastern North Carolina forced the event to be squeezed into two days. The Trojans played three games Saturday and two games Sunday.

Mount Olive (7-8) scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning against California as Kelsey Akers led off with a triple, Beth Overman drew a walk and both runners scored on Katie Moore's triple. Moore came home on Kalie Smith's single.

The Trojans built a four-run lead, but California chipped away and eventually tied the game 5-5 with a run in the top of the sixth.

Jennifer Jones tripled with one out in the bottom of the seventh and a pair of walks loaded the bases. California got a force out at the plate for the second out before McGrath drove a pitch to left field to drive in the winning run.

Mount Olive posted a 3-0 record Saturday, opening with an 8-3 victory over West Chester and finishing with a 5-1 win over Paine. Overman belted a two-run homer and Smith drove in three runs against West Chester.

Mount Olive used a pair of three-run innings to jump out to a 6-0 lead against West Chester. Smith singled in two runs in the first and Overman hit her home run in the second. Tiffany Hawley and Savannah Becker added rbi-singles in the fourth.

Lauren Smith tossed a complete game six-hitter and all three runs allowed were unearned.

The Trojans suffered their first loss of the tournament in Sunday's first game, falling to Shippensburg 9-6. Back-to-back solo home runs by Smith and Becker in the top of the second gave Mount Olive a 2-0 lead, but Shippensburg took the lead for good with six runs in the bottom of the second.

The Trojans trailed 9-4 when McGrath hit a two-run homer with nobody out in the top of the seventh, but the rally came up short.

Mount Olive concluded play with a 7-5 loss to USC Aiken. Hawley belted a grand slam home run in the top of the first and the Trojans led 5-1 after an inning-and-a-half. After a run in the second and a three-run homer in the bottom of the third tied the game, USC Aiken went on top with two unearned runs in the fifth on an rbi-groundout and a squeeze play.

USC Aiken pitcher India Kornegay overcame a rocky start to hold the Trojans scoreless on one hit over the final five innings. Kornegay recorded 18 strikeouts for the second time in the tournament.

Mount Olive returns to action Wednesday as the Trojans play host to Francis Marion in a non-conference doubleheader. Game time is 2 p.m. at Nancy Chapman Cassell Field.