Harrogate, Tenn. - Maddie Fletcher went 3-6 with a double and four RBIs and Kasey Fagan launched her second home run of the season to propel the Brevard College women’s softball team to a split with the host Lincoln Memorial Railsplitters on Wednesday afternoon.
Lincoln Memorial (15-19, 2-8 SAC) took game one behind the pitching of Brittany Stuive by a score of 2-1, while Fletcher went 2-3 with four RBIs in the nightcap leading to Liz Houser’s eighth win of the season as Brevard (15-17, 2-6 SAC) won the second game 8-1.
Game 1: Lincoln Memorial 2, Brevard 1
Lincoln Memorial put runs across the plate in the third and the sixth innings against Tornados starter Jennifer Gift (7-10) to win the first game. Gift allowed four hits in six innings, striking out three, while the Tornados tagged Stuive for six hits, but she walked away with the win as Brevard was unable to put more than one run across the plate.
Lincoln Memorial scored first, striking with none out in the bottom of the third. Joy Grills led off the inning with a walk and scored as Sammy Jo Garrett drove a ball to left center for a double. A single and a steal by Michelle Breen put runners on second and third for Lincoln Memorial with one out, but Gift retired Sara Henn on strikes and Stuive lined out to BC’s Beth Brooker in right field to end the inning.
The Tornados picked up their first run of the game in the top of the sixth. Maddie Fletcher opened the inning with a base hit up the middle. Katie Thornburg dropped a sacrifice bunt, moving Fletcher into scoring position. Sarah Carlos drove a single up the middle advancing Fletcher to third where she scored on Brooker’s sacrifice fly to straightaway centerfield. Kristina Clayton continued the rally with a single up the middle to move Carlos to second, but the runners were stranded as Chelsi Mallory fouled out down the left field line to end the inning.
Breen answered back for the Lady Railsplitters in the bottom half of the inning by leading off with a solo shot to left center to put LMU back up 2-1.
In the seventh, Katie Brown reached on a one-out single and Becca Curlee beat out a bunt single to move Brown to second, but a fielder’s choice and a fly out ended the Tornados chances in game one.
Game 2: Brevard 8, Lincoln Memorial 1
Houser (8-7), backed by Fletcher’s big afternoon and Fagan’s blast, cruised to the victory in game two, scattering six hits in the game while striking out two. Stuive suffered the loss for LMU, allowing seven runs in six innings’ work while pulling double-duty for the home team.
The Tornados got on the board in the top of the second. After Fagan and Katie Brown were retired on line drives, Thornburg reached base due to an error by the Lincoln Memorial shortstop. A single by Curlee moved Thornburg over to third and both base runners came around to score on Fletcher’s single to right center.
Houser carried a perfect game through three, but Jackie Adams broke up the bid with a base hit to lead off the bottom of the fourth. Lincoln Memorial loaded the bases with one out as Henn singled to center and Stuive walked, and pushed across a run as one of Houser’s pitches grazed Mira McPeek to score Adams. However, that was all the Lady Railsplitters managed in the inning as Houser retired Bridget Eicher on a line drive to third base and Ashley Knight on a fly ball to center to retain the 2-1 lead.
Both teams threatened to break the game open in the fifth as Brevard put runners on the corners with one out, but a double play saved Lincoln Memorial, while in the bottom half of the inning, Houser escaped a bases-loaded jam by getting Stuive to fly out to right field to end the inning without allowing a run to cross.
The Tornados finally got their big inning in the top of the sixth as six of the first seven batters for Brevard reached base, bringing five runs home. Mallory led off the inning with a double to left. A single by Fagan moved Mallory over to third. Jennifer Brown came in to pinch run for Fagan and moved to second as Katie Brown reached on a fielder’s choice. A single by Thornburg and a sacrifice fly by Curlee scored Mallory and Jennifer Brown, leading way to Fletcher’s second multiple RBI hit of the game by way of a double to right center scoring Katie Brown and Thornburg. Fletcher later came into score on a throwing error to give Brevard the 7-1 advantage.
Fagan sealed the win with her solo shot in the top of the seventh, her second home run of the 2009 season, tying for the team lead with Mallory.
Lincoln Memorial went three up-three down in the bottom of the seventh to end the game.
The Tornados continue in conference play on the road as they head to Wingate, N.C. on Friday, April 10, for a doubleheader against Wingate University. First pitch for the doubleheader is set for 2 p.m.