Brevard, N.C. - A six run fifth inning led the Tornados to a 10-1 victory in game one against visiting Mountain State University on Sunday afternoon. A walk-off three-run homer by Kasey Fagan in the bottom of the fifth clinched the sweep against the Lady Cougars as Liz Houser pitched her third shutout of the season to receive the win, 8-0.
With the pair of wins, Brevard improves to 13-7 on the season while Mountain State falls to 4-8.
Game 1: Brevard 10, Mountain State 1 (5)
Lady Cougar starting pitcher Nicole Agambar limited the Tornados to just four hits in game one, but her defense made three errors behind her as the Tornados took advantage of the extra chances in taking game one.
Jennifer Gift (7-4) picked up her seventh win of the season, limiting the visitors to two hits and one unearned run while striking out three while Fagan went 2-3 at the plate with a pair of doubles and three RBIs to lead the offense.
Mountain State got on the board first, scoring a run in the top of the second as Jackelyn Bragg scored on a fielding error by the Tornados left fielder.
Brevard answered in the bottom of the inning as Beth Brooker reached on a fielder’s choice and alertly took second base on the play as the Lady Cougars caught Katie Thornburg in a rundown. Maddie Fletcher’s grounder to first moved Brooker to third where she scored on Fagan’s double to right center to even the score at 1.
A leadoff double by Lauren Howell went for naught in the top of the third for the Lady Cougars as Gift sat the next three batters down in order, stranding Howell at second.
The Tornados took the lead in the bottom of the third as Kristina Clayton led off the inning with a walk, moved to second on a wild pitch, went to third on Chelsi Mallory’s grounder to second and scored on Jennifer Brown’s grounder to the Mountain State second baseman to put Brevard up 2-1.
A one-two-three top of the fourth brought the Tornados back up and they capitalized, scoring a pair to go up 4-1. Brooker drew a walk to lead off the inning. The next batter, Fletcher, hit a grounder to third and the third baseman, attempting to start the double play, airmailed the ball into right field allowing Brooker to score with Fletcher ending the play on third. A base hit up the middle by Sarah Carlos scored Fletcher, but Agambar was able to get Becca Curlee to line out to the shortstop, starting a double play to escape the inning without allowing another run.
Gift retired Mountain State in order in the top of the fifth, leading to the six run explosion by the Tornados bats in the bottom of the inning. Brevard sent 10 batters to the plate in the final inning of the game, drawing five walks and reaching base on a pair of Mountain State errors as the game reached the 8-run rule as Kristina Clayton reached on an error by Lady Cougar first baseman Lauren Howell, scoring both Carlos and Fagan to end the game.
Game 2: Brevard 8, Mountain State 0 (5)
Liz Houser (6-3) allowed a pair of singles to Lady Cougar catcher Kayli Carter and struck out six as she threw her third shutout of the season. Fagan again supplied the offensive fireworks, going 2-3 with a home run and three RBIs.
The Tornados scored three in the bottom of the first as the first three Brevard batters all came around to touch the plate. Curlee led off the inning with a bloop single to left center. Clayton singled her over to second and Mallory drove both Curlee and Clayton home, reaching on a bunt single and advancing to third on Mountain State pitcher Brianna Hammond’s overthrow of first base. Mallory scored a few pitches later on a wild pitch as Brevard took the early 3-0 lead.
Brevard loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the third as Clayton and Thornburg reached base after getting plunked by Hammond and Jennifer Brown singled up the middle, but the Tornados were unable to take advantage of it as Brooker flew out to shallow center and Fletcher hit a pop fly that was corralled by Howell in the infield.
The Tornados ended the game in the fifth as Mallory led the inning off with a walk. She was sacrificed over to second by Jennifer Brown. A walk issued to Thornburg was followed by a single by Brooker to right center which scored Mallory from second. A single up the middle by Fletcher scored Thornburg, leaving way for Fagan to come to the plate.
Fagan, who hit 20 home runs in her two years at Florida Community College-Jacksonville, lined the 1-0 offering from Hammond over the left field fence for her first home run as a Brevard Tornado and ended the game.
Brevard opens conference play at home on Tuesday, March 24th, as they host Newberry College. First pitch for the doubleheader is set for 2 p.m.