Playing its first of two straight non-conference doubleheaders against Montreat, softball took a Monday sweep of the four-game series with a 7-2 win in the opening game followed by a 7-0 win during the second game.
With the two victories, the Bears (9-9) got back to the .500 mark and have won eight of their last 10 games.
In the opening game, it was Montreat that took the early advantage with a run in its first at-bats. The Cavaliers singled with one out and bunted that runner into scoring position before she scored on a single for the early lead. Defensively, Montreat starter Brittany Gallaher set down the first seven batters that she faced to start the game.
However, Brytan Givens would break up the no-hit, shutout game with one swing as she hit her first career home run over the left field fence to tie the game at one. After the second out, Ericka Leighty and Katy Bender would keep the inning alive with a walk and two-out infield single. They would then both score on Kirsti Yates’ double over the centerfielder’s head to give the Bears a 3-0 lead after three full innings.
Montreat would homer on the very first pitch in the top of the fourth inning but Shawnee State starter Ali Thompson would allow no more in the complete game victory. Outside of the Cavaliers scoring innings during the first and fourth, Thompson allowed just one hit over the other five innings. In her complete game victory, she pitched seven innings and allowed six hits while striking out 11 Montreat hitters.
The Bears would add four more insurance runs in the sixth to round out the scoring in game one. Holly Brabson singled with one out while an error followed by a Hannah Dittoe single scored the first run of the inning. The Montreat defense would get the second out of the inning on a tag at the plate but Givens would double home two and Tara Prater would drive home the final run of the first game.
In that first game, seven of the Bears’ starting nine recorded a hit but Givens was the only player with a multi-hit game as she went 2-for-3 with three RBI and scored two more runs.
The second game saw the Bears take the lead early and never look back as they scored four in the bottom of the first and rode the complete game shutout of Allie Chapman to the finish line. Patience at the plate would lead to the base runners in the opening inning as Bender walked and stole second while coming around to score on a Yates’ single. Yates was cut down on a fielder’s choice but a walk to Abbey Barrett put two aboard for Dittoe who took the first pitch she saw over the left field fence for her team-leading sixth home run of the season.
Chapman would strand a runner on second following a two-out double in the opening inning and did not allow another hit until a two-out hit single in the fifth inning. In total, she would allow just three hits over her seven innings of work while striking out nine against just one walk. The shutout was the third of the season for Chapman and the fifth of her SSU career.
The Bears would add on two more runs in the fourth inning as Dittoe and Kelsey Jenkins singled and walked to start the half inning. Those two would come around to score on singles by Givens and Prater to make the score 6-0. Three more singles by Barrett, Givens and the RBI hit by Prater in the fifth would then make it 7-0 after five innings in what would end up the final.
The Bears and Cavaliers will now be back in action tomorrow afternoon in the same location for another doubleheader. Tuesday’s first game will get underway at 1 p.m.