Lady Braves Walk Away With 9-2 Victory
MARS HILL – The UNCP softball team used superior offense, notably in the fifth inning, and tactical defense to notch a 9-2 victory over Mars Hill on Sunday in game two of the doubleheader en route to completing the series sweep of the Lions.
The victory gives UNCP (6-9) its best record thus far this season including a four-game winning streak. The Lady Braves had star performances from Karlee Wilson with two hits, one run and a trio of RBI, while Kellie Van Dyke had two RBI, two runs and two hits. Brea Hartley led the team with four hits as she also collected one run and one RBI. First baseman Kristen Hobbs recorded three hits and two runs on offense as well as 13 put outs on defense.
Mars Hill (10-8) was led by Natalie Haithcox with two hits, one run and one RBI, while Taylor Morris totaled one run, one hit and one RBI.
Junior Starr Gilley (3-3) collected her third win of the season as she pitched all seven innings for UNCP. Gilley allowed two earned runs and four hits, but struck out six batters in the process. Taylor Hussey (3-4) and Morris split time in the middle for Mars Hill. Hussey went four innings and allowed six runs (five earned) and eight hits, while Morris gave up three earned runs and five hits in her three innings.
The Lions took the first lead in the top of the second inning as Morris homered to send Mars Hill up by one. UNCP did not linger long as Van Dyke single to left center field and was brought home on a fielder's choice by Ashley Harrell to tie up the game.
Again Mars Hill took the 2-1 lead in the fourth inning with another homer over the left field wall. The Lady Braves unleashed the domination in the fifth inning as Hartley started the inning with a homer over the fence in left center. Kaytee Wilson reached on an error by the shortstop, before Holly Berry, Hobbs and Van Dyke notched three-consecutive singles. Karlee Wilson stepped up to the place with Hobbs and Van Dyke on base and posted a home run to put UNCP up by five runs.
The Lady Braves were not finished as the squad put in another two runs in the sixth inning to bring the score to 9-2. UNCP played extraordinary defense as 21 of the total 26 batters were either struck out or put out by the Lady Braves.
The victory puts UNCP ahead in the series with a 5-3 advantage, and a two-game winning streak over the Lions. This is the second time this season the Lady Braves have posted the series sweep over opponents and the first in time in school historyover Mars Hill.
The Black and Gold return home to LRA Field to play host to region rival St. Andrews (5-11) on Wednesday in a doubleheader. First pitch is set for 2 p.m.