Marathon Effort Results in Split

Marathon Effort Results in Split

MOREHEAD, Ky. -- Belmont University Sotball split in its lone contests of the week in very dramatic fashion.  After logging a convincing six inning 11-1 victory, the Bruins (29-13, 5-7 OVC) played the most innings in program history, 13, before falling to Morehead State (23-17, 4-8 OVC) in the nightcap.

The Bruins started their hit parade in the top of the second frame, using singles by juniors Lexi Rouse (Macon, Ga.) and Jess Andree (Darien, Ill.) with a sacrifice bunt by freshman Bailey Sims (Flowery Branch, Ga.) to pushed them into scoring position.  Sophomore Jordan Spicer (Hendersonville, Tenn.) drove a single deep to right to notch a pair of RBIs and give BU the early lead.  The Eagles fired back in the bottom of the same inning, posting a solo home run to cut the Belmont lead in half. 

Belmont kept the momentum high in the third.  Sophomore Hayley Baker (Rockwall, Texas) notched her first triple of the season and was quickly sent over the plate behind a Rouse single to left field to put BU ahead, 3-1.  The Bruin bats remained warm in the top of the fourth frame to add to the run total.  Belmont was able to load the bases using

The Bruin bats went from warm to smoking hot in the top of the fifth.  Andree was hit by a pitch to reach first base and senior Amy Zeronian (Pasadena, Calif.) smashed her third home run of the season to add two more runs.  Sophomore Baylee Cook (Lewisburg, Tenn.) followed with the first inside the park home run of her career, expanding the BU lead to 8-1.  The Eagles used a pitching change to briefly slow the Belmont bats and close the inning but the onslaught continued in the sixth inning.  Baker was hit by a pitch and senior Chelsey Deloney (Gardendale, Ala.) was walked before Andree unleashed her fifth home run of the season to put BU on top, 11-1.  Freshman Brooklin Lee (Burns, Tenn.) used a pair of strikeouts to sandwich a fly out fielded by Cook to secure the victory.

In the nightcap, Morehead State was the first to make a mark on the scoreboard, putting up a run in the bottom of the first frame.  The Eagles added another run to their tally in the bottom of the third.  However, the Bruins bounced back in the top of the fourth, going on to knot the score.  Back-to-back singles by Baker and Rouse opened the door for a double to center field by Deloney that netted a pair of RBI. 

The Eagles broke the 2-2 stalemate in the bottom of the fifth frame, using a series of doubles to take a 6-2 lead.  However, the run advantage quickly diminished in the top of the next inning.  Baker singled and Rouse followed with a double to put the pair in scoring position.  A sac fly by Deloney and a single by Andree each scored a run.  Sims singled to left and Spicer reached on four balls to load the bases before Zeronian and Cook knocked back-to-back singles to plate runs.  Senior Shersty Stanton (Pinckneyville, Ill.) came in to pinch hit and used her ground out to add a fifth run for the Bruins.  Morehead State responded after the flurry with a solo homer in their bottom of the same inning to knot the score, 7-7.

The Eagles had the win within their grasp in the bottom of the eighth, getting a runner all the way to third but Rouse struck out two consecutive batters at the plate to end the inning with the game still tied 7-7.  The contest remained stalemated for nearly five more innings as Morehead State continued to get runners into scoring position but being stopped cold by the Belmont defense.

Finally, in the bottom of the 13th inning, the Eagles were able to get two on base behind base on balls opportunities.  A home run that bounced off the scoreboard by Robyn Leighton handed the Eagles a 10-7 victory in walk-off fashion. 

The marathon 13 inning contest became the longest in program history, running by a 2005 mark of 12 innings logged.

For the day, Baker went 5-for-9 at the plate to lead the Bruins with a triple and two RBI.  Rouse and Andree both batted .500.

Inside the circle, Lee went the distance in game one, logging eight strikeouts and opened game two, tossing 4.2 innings before Rouse came in for relief work.  Rouse finished with eight innings thrown and four strikeouts.  Over the two games, Lee tallied 11 strikeouts.

Belmont returns to action on Wednesday, April 19 on the road at in-state rival Middle Tennessee State for a single game.  First pitch is slated for 6 p.m.  Live stats will be available.