Mount Olive Sweeps Softball

Shauna Cowdrey pitched a two-hitter while Bailey Harrell smacked a home run to lead the Mount Olive College Lady Trojans to 3-1 victory over the Lees-McRae College Lady Bobcats in game two of a Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference softball doubleheader Thursday afternoon. The Lady Trojans clinched the two game sweep, taking the opener 6-0.

Thursday's wins move Mount Olive back into a tie with Coker for first place in the CVAC standings heading into the final weekend of regular season conference play.

In game one, Mount Olive (34-15, 14-4 CVAC) took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning of the opener as Tiffanie Pittman led off with a double and scored on a throwing error on Erin Wilson's bunt single. Wilson, who advanced to second and then stole third, came home on Jenny Jackson's sacrifice fly.

Lees-McRae (13-23, 3-13 CVAC) threatened in the top of the second as the Bobcats loaded the bases with one out. Amanda Dodson looped a single to shallow center and one out later, Melody Jo Williams and Keri Austin reached on infield singles. But Jackson got out of the jam on a strikeout and a come-backer to the mound.

Jackson retired the side in order over the next two innings and allowed only two base hits the rest of the way, both singles. She struck out the side in the final inning.

Pittman went 2-for-3, while Wilson was 1-for-1 with three walks for the home side. Jackson struck out eight and walked none for her fifth shutout in her last seven conference games.

After game one went just over the two-hour mark, game two clocked in at less than 90 minutes, despite also going the full seven innings. Cowdrey retired the side in order in each of the first three innings before allowing a leadoff walk in the fourth. Dodson's single to left drove in the Lady Bobcats' only run of the day.

Just as she did in the opener, Pittman scored the Trojans' first run, reaching first on a hit by pitch and eventually scoring on a single by Harrell.

After Lees-McRae tied the game in the top of the fourth, Mount Olive regained the lead in the bottom half as Jackson led off with a double on a 3-0 pitch. Pinch-runner Karen Thornton advanced to third on Jamie Pruitt's sacrifice and scored on Courtney Wallace's single to right field.

Wallace moved to second on a ground out and advanced to third on a passed ball as Melissa Bright drew a walk. The Trojans appeared to add another run when Wallace came home on what was originally ruled an infield single up the middle by Kat Cahoon. But after a conference by the umpires, it was ruled that Lees-McRae second baseman Salle' Horner still had her foot on second base when she fielded the ball and the inning ended on a force out.

The Trojans got the run back in the next inning as Harrell drilled a two-out 1-2 pitch over the fence in left-center field to give Mount Olive a two-run lead, and the final tally of the game.

The Lady Bobcats will return home to host Barton College in a CVAC doubleheader. Games are set for 1:00pm and 3:00pm.