Softball Splits Season-Opening Doubleheader At Francis Marion

Softball Splits Season-Opening Doubleheader At Francis Marion

Madison Johnston tossed a complete game four-hitter, while Beth Overman drove in all five runs and tied a school record with three doubles as University of Mount Olive defeated Francis Marion University 5-1 in game one of a non-conference softball doubleheader Sunday at Florence, S.C. The doubleheader marked the season opener for both teams.

Overman belted a two-run homer in game two, but the Trojans had to settle for a split as Francis Marion erupted for 12 runs in the final two innings for a 13-5 victory.

In the opener, Mount Olive (1-1) broke a scoreless tie in the top of the third as Taylor Carter drew a four-pitch walk with one out. Carter advanced to second on a groundout and scored when Overman's two-out drive to right bounced over the fence for a ground rule double.

The Trojans used speed and power to add two more runs in the fifth. Carter led off with a single and then stole second and third. Kelsey Akers drew a four-pitch walk and stole second to give Mount Olive two runners in scoring position. Overman then drove a 2-0 pitch to right-center to bring in both runners and extend the Trojans' lead to 3-0.

The top third of the Trojan lineup put together a two-out rally in the top of the sixth to add two more runs. After Francis Marion relief pitcher Katie Carnes struck out the first two batters, Carter kept the inning alive with a single. Carter went to third on a single by Akers, who advanced to second on the throw. Overman then went opposite field, sending a 2-0 pitch to left field to drive in Carter and Akers and give Mount Olive a 5-0 lead.

Johnston (1-0) allowed three baserunners in the first two innings before retiring the side in the third and fourth innings. She took a shutout into the bottom of the sixth before Francis Marion (1-1) capitalized on a throwing error to score its lone run. Johnston struck out three and retired 14 batters on infield groundouts.

In the second game, Akers led off the top of the third with a single and after working a full count, Overman belted an opposite-field home run over the left-center field fence to break a 1-1 tie. Akers also singled and scored in the first inning, coming home on Lindsey Russell's rbi-single.

The Trojans extended their lead to 4-1 in the top of the fourth as Lauren McGrath reached on an error to lead off the inning. McGrath went to second on Savannah Becker's sacrifice and scored on Tiffany Hawley's pinch-hit single.

Francis Marion used the long ball to score five runs in the bottom of the fourth. Shannan Lopez led off the inning with a home run and Carnes belted a grand slam home run to put the Patriots on top 6-5.

Carnes added a two-run single in a seven-run fifth inning as Francis Marion broke the game open. A bases-loaded walk sealed the run-rule victory for the Patriots.

Trojan starter Lauren Smith (0-1) held Francis Marion hitless through three innings before running into trouble in the fourth. Two Trojan relievers followed Smith in the fifth.

Mount Olive plays its home opener Tuesday as the Trojans play host to Shaw in a non-conference doubleheader. First pitch is 3 p.m. at Nancy Chapman Cassell Field.