Softball Defeats Mississippi Valley State on Sunday
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Belmont (5-19) picked up a hard-fought win against Mississippi Valley State on Sunday afternoon. The Bruins used a four run sixth inning to pull away from MVSU, winning 7-3 in their final game of the Tiger Classic hosted by Tennessee State University. Senior Ashley Byers was named to the All-Tournament team.
Belmont was led by Byers, who got things started with a solo home run in the bottom of the second inning. MVSU tied the game with a run in the third before the Bruins added two runs in the bottom of the fourth to retake the lead. MVSU added another run in the top of the fifth inning to cut the lead to one. The Bruins finally got rolling offensively in the bottom of the sixth inning. Until then, they had been outhit by MVSU despite holding the one run lead.
Sophomore Heather Turner started the inning by drawing a lead-off walk. Byers continued her solid offensive performance with a single through the left side, advancing Turner to second. Junior Becca Gift, the winning pitcher, helped herself offensively with a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners. Gift was safe at first after a muffed catch by the second baseman, giving the Bruins bases loaded with no outs. Freshman Kat Hollingsworth recorded an RBI single after a nine pitch at bat that scored Turner. Sophomore Ashley Hammer followed with another RBI single that scored Byers. Senior Stayci Cook pinch hit for Belmont and singled on a ball that spun away from the catcher in fair territory, allowing the run to score from third and Cook to reach first safely. The first out of the inning came when sophomore MJ Lawson reached on a fielder's choice after Hammer was forced out at third. Lawson recorded an RBI on the play when Hollingsworth scored. Another ground out and a strike out ultimately ended the inning for the Bruins. In the inning, Belmont recorded four runs on four hits with one error and left two runners on. The Bruins left only four runners on base all day, a sharp contrast to the 10 baserunners stranded by MVSU.
Gift picked up her third win of the season and managed to pitch her way out of trouble throughout the game. Gift faced a total of 34 batters, allowed six hits, three runs, and walked five, but recorded several timely strikeouts to force MVSU to leave baserunners. Belmont committed two errors on the day and allowed one unearned run.
Belmont will be back in action on Tuesday evening when the Bruins host Marshall for a single game at Rose Park. The game is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. Live stats, full recaps, schedule information, season statitistics and postgame box scores will be available at www.belmontbruins.com.