Berea, KY- Today saw the home season opener for the softball team at the Berea College Sports Complex. The team welcomed NCAA Division III opponent the Franklin College Grizzlies.
Berea entered the bottom of the first inning trailing the Grizzlies 1-0 after the visitors put a run on the board in the top half of the inning. After a strikeout of the first batter, Riley Lanham hit a single to get on first base. The score remained 1-0 as Lanham was stranded on base as the next two batters recorded outs. Tough pitching from Franklin College's pitcher held the Mountaineers offense in check as the score through three innings read 2-0 in favor of the visitors. The score changed again in the top of the fourth as the Grizzlies scored three more runs to increase their lead to 5-0. Mercedes Stanfield's patience at the plate earned her a walk in the bottom of the fourth but Berea was unable to cut into the lead as the next two batters were stifled by the opposing pitcher. Trailing 6-0 as final inning started for the Mountaineers, Kourtney Parker singled as they look to extend or win the game. A fielder's choice allowed Annelise Hackney to reach base but caught Parker out at second. A fly out and ground out by Berea ended the game as a 6-0 victory for the visiting Franklin College.
Lanham and Parker both had hits in the game, each finishing 1-3 from the plate. Markiara Smith and Jacquelyne Howard combined to pitch the game for the Mountaineers, giving up seven total hits, six runs (four earned) and walking four batters.
In the final game of the doubleheader, Berea saw themselves trailing 6-0 after the first inning but made a dent in the score in the bottom half of the second inning. With Parker on-base after a walk, Lillian Setters put down a bunt and beat the throw to the base, putting runners on first and second base. A ground out to the pitcher by Chelsey Parsons followed by Hackney's ground out to the second baseman moved Setters to third base and allowed Parker to cross home plate, giving Berea a run and making the score 6-1. With two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning and trailing 14-1, the bases soon became loaded for the Mounties after a Setters walk, Parsons' single and Smith's walk. The three Mountaineers were left on base though as the next batter recorded the final out of the inning. After singles from Melissa Garcia-Maldonado and Abby Nash put runners on first and second with no outs in the fifth inning, three straight outs by Berea brought the second game to an end as the Grizzlies won the contest 18-1 in five innings.
Setters finished 1-1 at the plate to go along with hits from Nash, Parsons and Garcia-Maldonado. Parker scored the only run of the game for the Mountaineers with the RBI coming from Hackney.
Berea (0-6) travels to the University of the Cumberlands for their next doubleheader on the diamond. Live stats and video of the game, set for Tuesday at 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM, can be seen here.