April 7, 2013

#18 Hornet Softball Sweeps #24 Virginia Wesleyan

For immediate release – 4/7/2013 - #349
#18 Hornet Softball Sweeps #24 Virginia Wesleyan

LYNCHBURG, VA – The Lynchburg College softball team swept an Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) doubleheader Sunday afternoon against visiting Virginia Wesleyan College in a battle of top 25 teams. LC was ranked #18 this week in the NFCA poll, while VWC was #24 and unbeaten in league play entering the twinbill.   

The Hornets captured the first game 6-1, fueled by two home runs from senior Cassie Phillips and an outstanding game in the circle from sophomore right-hander Hope Johnson.

The Marlins got on the scoreboard first on an RBI double from Taylor Galvin in the second inning. With one out in the bottom of the fourth, Danielle Powell singled, Amber Ingram walked and Michaela Munday singled to load the bases. Phillips took advantage of the situation, hitting a blast down the left-field line for a grand slam to put LC ahead 4-1. In the fifth inning, Jessi Hall singled and later scored on a single from Melanie Tenney. Phillips provided an additional insurance run in the sixth with her second home run of the game, a solo shot to deep left-center field. Johnson upped her record to 10-1 on the season with a complete-game five hitter, walking none with three strikeouts. She retired the lead-off hitter in six of her seven innings.

LC led 3-0 early in the second game and held on for a 3-2 victory. The Hornets got out of a jam in the first inning as the Marlins loaded the bases with one out, but Ingram induced a ground ball to Powell at third base to start a 5-2-3 double play. Lynchburg plated two runs in the bottom of the first, as Hall and Nicole Riley drew walks to start the inning. Tenney laid down a sacrifice bunt to put runners on second and third, and Powell grounded out to score Hall and Ingram singled to send Riley home.

The Hornets struck again in the third, with a sacrifice fly from Powell scoring Hall. VWC's Kayla Dost singled in a run in the fourth to cut the lead to 3-1 and the Marlins loaded the bases with no outs in the fifth. Sophomore Elizabeth Fioretti came out of the bullpen to force three-straight ground ball outs to Riley at shortstop and limit VWC to just one run. Virginia Wesleyan got the leadoff hitter on base in the seventh and Johnson was called out of the bullpen. The game one victor induced a double play pop-up when the Marlin batter attempted a sacrifice bunt. Johnson got the next batter to fly out to earn a save.

Ingram had two hits for LC (22-5/7-1 ODAC). Fioretti earned the win, allowing no earned runs in two innings of relief. Tori Higginbotham and Kristina Karagiorgis each had two hits for Virginia Wesleyan (27-6/11-2).   

The Hornets travel to Bridgewater College Thursday afternoon for another ODAC doubleheader starting at 3 p.m.