Trojans Split Pair Of One-Run Games At North Greenville

Trojans Split Pair Of One-Run Games At North Greenville

Lauren McGrath doubled home what proved to be the winning run in the top of the ninth inning and left fielder Taylor Carter threw out the potential tying run for the final out in the bottom of the ninth as University of Mount Olive posted an extra-inning 5-4 victory over North Greenville University in game one of a Conference Carolinas softball doubleheader Saturday at Tigerville, S.C. The Trojans also turned a double play in the bottom of the ninth.

The Trojans settled for a split as North Greenville took the nightcap 6-5. Kristin Power drove in two runs for Mount Olive.

In the opener, Mount Olive (9-11 overall, 2-2 Conference Carolinas) broke a 3-3 tie in the top of the ninth as Tiffany Hawley's sacrifice fly drove in Kelsey Akers. McGrath followed with a double to left center to bring home Beth Overman and give the Trojans a 5-3 lead.

Lauren Smith, the third Trojan pitcher, entered the game in the bottom of the ninth with the bases loaded and nobody out. Smith induced a 5-2-3 double play as third baseman Jazzmin Montgomery got the force at the plate and catcher Erin Brogan threw the batter out at first.

With runners on second and third, North Greenville pinch-hitter Haley Gray singled to left to drive in Celesa Rivers. Megan Johnson rounded third, but Carter's throw beat her to the plate and Brogan placed the tag to seal the win.

Smith earned her first save of the season, while Caitlin Ewers (1-1) picked up the win after three innings in relief.

In the second game, Mount Olive rallied from a 3-1 deficit with four runs in the top of the sixth. After the Trojans loaded the bases with one out, Power singled up the middle to drive in two runs and tie the game. Power and pinch-runner Kayla Allen both scored on a Crusader error to give the Trojans a 5-3 lead.

North Greenville (13-9, 5-3) regained the lead with three runs in the bottom of the sixth, all with two outs. Ewers came in with the bases loaded and two outs and got a strikeout for an apparent third out. But the ball got past the catcher and a run scored as the Crusaders kept the inning alive. Gray followed with a two-run single up the middle to put North Greenville ahead to stay.

Mount Olive plays its first home games in more than a month as the Trojans play host to Fayetteville State in a non-conference doubleheader Thursday at Nancy Chapman Cassell Field. Game time is 2 p.m.