Softball Sweeps Chowan In Non-Conference Doubleheader

Softball Sweeps Chowan In Non-Conference Doubleheader

Lauren Smith tossed a three-hit shutout and Taylor Carter tied a 19-year-old school record for most stolen bases in a season as University of Mount Olive completed a doubleheader sweep with a 9-0 victory over Chowan in non-conference softball Wednesday at Murfreesboro, N.C. The Trojans have won five of their last six games.

The Trojans took the opener 8-4 as Madison Johnston recorded a season-high seven strikeouts in six innings and Kelsey Akers paced a 13-hit attack with her second four-hit performance in three games. Johnston's win was her 11th in her last 11 decisions.

In game one, Mount Olive (26-16) loaded the bases with nobody out in the top of the third and scored the first run of the game on a walk to Overman, but the next three batters were retired. After Chowan tied the game in the bottom of the third, Mount Olive went ahead to stay in the top of the fourth.

Anna Ingram singled and Kristin Power walked with one out in the inning. Carter, who also had three hits in the opener, drove in both runners with a triple and went on to score on a throwing error to give the Trojans a 4-1 lead. Savannah Becker singled in a run in the top of the sixth to extend the lead to 5-1.

The Trojans added three insurance runs in the top of the seventh. Mount Olive scored a run on three consecutive one-out singles by Power, Carter and Akers. Overman, who walked three times in the game, singled home Carter and Akers to give the Trojans an 8-1 lead.

After a Trojan pitching change, Chowan (15-11) rallied for three runs in the bottom of the seventh. The Hawks scored the first run on an rbi-groundout, then added an rbi-single by Tori Cragan, who came home on Courtney Diamond's triple. Reliever Kayleigh Jonas got a flyout to seal the win.

Johnston (14-3) retired six of the first seven batters she faced and did not allow a hit until giving up an infield single in the bottom of the third. She retired the side in order in the second and fourth innings, and allowed only five hits.

Akers led off the second game with a single and Overman followed with a triple. Overman scored on a groundout and Mount Olive added a run on a Chowan error to grab a quick 3-0 lead. Akers' rbi-double sparked a two-run fourth inning, Carter singled in a run in the fifth and Lauren McGrath added a two-out rbi-double in the sixth to extend the Trojans' lead to 7-0. Power triggered a two-run seventh inning with a one-out triple.

Carter tied the UMO stolen base record in the fourth inning when she singled with one out and stole second for her 27th stolen base of the season. She tied the record held by Jennifer Ellis since 1996. Carter's stolen base was one of four in the game for Mount Olive and six in the doubleheader to give the Trojans 120 on the season. The school record is 126, also set in 1996.

Smith (7-6) got all the run support she needed in the first inning. All of her hits allowed were singles, including a bunt single. She struck out three and did not issue a walk until the seventh inning. Smith has won each of her last four decisions to go above the .500 mark on the season.

Mount Olive returns to action Thursday as the Trojans play host to Saint Augustine's in a non-conference doubleheader. The two teams split a doubleheader at Saint Augustine's March 16. Game time is 2 p.m. at Nancy Chapman Cassell Field.