LEESBURG, Fla. – The Mount St. Joseph softball team took the field on Friday looking to end its trip to The Spring Games with a 5-3 record on the week. After defeating Bowdoin in two close games, that's exactly what the Lions did. The Mount took the first game, 6-5, and the second, 3-2.
The Lions again sent freshman Sarah Miller (Fishers, Ind./St. Theodore Guerin) to the hill for Game 1. As has been the case for much of the early season, Miller gave the Lions an opportunity to win the game. She started a little rough, allowing Bowdoin to tally four runs in the bottom of the 1st. The big blow came in the form of a 2-out, 3-run home run. Miller would allow another run in the bottom of the 2nd, but was dominant the rest of the way. Over the game's final five innings, Bowdoin only managed four baserunners and never really threatened to score again. Miller's line was 7 innings, 8 hits, 5 runs (4 earned), with 4 strikeouts. Her command was outstanding, as she didn't walk a single Bowdoin hitter.
In a game that was defined by the big inning, the Lions' big inning was just a little bigger than Bowdoin's. For The Mount, the big inning came in the top of the 4th, as they sent 10 batters to the plate and dented the plate five times. Driving in runs were Gracie Woodyard (Plainfield, Ind./Avon), MaKayla Hanes (New Paris, Ohio/Greenville), Alehia Tucker (Covington, Ky./Holy Cross), and Savannah Sturgill (West Harrison, Ind./East Central), who drove in two. Neither team scored over the final three innings, with the Lions holding on for a 6-5 victory.
In Game 2, the Lions sent Brianna Kauf (Orrville, Ohio/Orrville) to the mound to start the game, and she was sharp from the first pitch. Kauf held Bowdoin scoreless for the first 5+ innings. In the 6th, fatigue began to set in, and she allowed the first three batters of the inning to reach base. All told her line was 5 hits and two earned runs in 5+ innings. Kauf was relieved by Miller, the Game 1 starter. Miller allowed one hit but slammed the door over the final six outs to help the Lions secure the victory.
Offensively, it was again just a one-inning outburst that carried the Lions to victory. Hanes, Kauf, and Tucker all had RBIs in the bottom of the 4th for a three-run inning. The Lions only registered four total hits in the game, but they were able to get them at the right times.
The Mount will play its first home games of the season Tuesday, March 20, as the Lions welcome Otterbein to the Kinder Morgan Softball Complex for a doubleheader. Game 1 is scheduled for first pitch at 4:30 p.m.