Softball Denied Third Consecutive Conference Carolinas Title

Softball Denied Third Consecutive Conference Carolinas Title

Savannah Becker's two-out grand slam home run on a 10-pitch at bat highlighted a five-run second inning as No. 2 seed University of Mount Olive defeated No. 4 seed Erskine College 5-2 in an elimination game in the 2015 Conference Carolinas Softball Tournament Friday at Burlington, N.C. Lindsay Russell added a solo home run in the inning, while Lauren Smith went the distance in the circle for the Trojans.

The win kept Mount Olive alive in the double-elimination tournament after the Trojans opened with a 9-4 loss to No. 7 seed North Greenville University. The loss snapped Mount Olive's nine-game conference tournament winning streak, dating back to the 2013 tournament.

Mount Olive's quest for a third straight conference title came to an end Saturday morning with a 13-3 loss to No. 3 seed Belmont Abbey.

Mount Olive (29-20) broke a scoreless tie against Erskine when Russell led off the bottom of the second with her team-leading seventh home run of the season. Kristin Power was hit by a pitch with one out and Kelsey Akers reached on a two-out error to keep the inning alive. Beth Overman was hit by a pitch to load the bases and set the table for Becker.

Becker fell behind 1-2 before fouling off a pair of pitches and taking a ball to even the count at 2-2. She fouled off four pitches, then drove a pitch high over the left field fence to clear the bases and give Mount Olive a 5-0 lead.

Smith (9-7) scattered seven hits and got out of a bases loaded jam in the top of the second. She finished with one strikeout and two walks.

In Mount Olive's opening game, Erin Brogan's two-out two-run single highlighted a four-run first inning. North Greenville scored three runs in the top of the second and erupted for six runs in the sixth inning.

Saturday against Belmont Abbey, Becker belted a two-run homer in the bottom of the third to give the Trojans a two-run lead. But Belmont Abbey took the lead for good with four runs in the fifth inning and Shanie McConnell hit a grand slam in a five-run sixth inning for the Crusaders.