MACON, Ga. -- A grand slam and a walk-off home run helped propel the Belmont University Softball team to victory on a rain shortened outing at the Mercer Bears Classic. The Bruins (21-5) routed first-time opponent Savannah State (0-18), 13-3, on Saturday night.
BU wasted little time making a mark on the scoreboard, posting three runs in the bottom of the opening frame. Seniors Kayla Wells (Bonney Lake, Wash.) and Shersty Stanton (Pinckneyville, Ill.) were walked before a bumbled ball on a hit by junior Lexi Rouse (Macon, Ga.) allowed a run to score. Senior Chelsey Deloney (Gardendale, Ala.) smashed the first pitch over the right field fence to add two more runs to the BU tally, putting Belmont ahead, 3-0.
The Tigers stayed competitive for the first two innings, matching the BU run output to knot the score, 3-3. However, the Bruin bats kicked into high gear as the contest wore on. Belmont broke the stalemate in the bottom of the third frame, adding two runs behind a double by freshman Bailey Sims (Flowery Branch, Ga.).
The Bruins continued to roll as Stanton smashed a grand slam in the bottom of the fourth inning to put Belmont ahead, 9-3.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Bruins succeeded in loading the bases again with two walks and a hit by pitch with no outs. An infield fly opened the door for senior Amy Zeronian (Pasadena, Calif.) to steal home before Rouse, on her first pitch, drilled a walk-off home run to win the game, plating four more runs. After the batting bonanza, the Bruins had won the game, 13-3 in five innings.
At the plate to lead BU, Rouse went 2-for-4 with two runs and three RBI while Sims was 1-for-1 with a pair of RBI.
Sophomore Ashley Johnson (Kingwood, Texas) and Rouse split time inside the circle, combining for three strikeouts.
Belmont returns to action on Sunday, March 19 for the final day of the Mercer Bears Classic. The Bruins take on Eastern Michigan at 10:45 a.m. and wrap with a contest against host-Mercer at 1 p.m. Live stats will be available for both contests.