Softball Falls in Two Close Games at Southeast Missouri State

Ashley Hammer steals home against Stetson.
Ashley Hammer steals home against Stetson.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - - Belmont (11-34) lost two close games on the road at Southeast Missouri Wednesday night, including a ten inning marathon in which the Bruins scored a season high 13 runs. Game one was also close as the Redhawks took a 3-5 win.

In game one, Belmont scored all three runs in the top of the third inning, including one on an RBI from senior Ashley Byers and a stolen base from freshman Heather Turner. Turner, who reached on a walk and then stole second, advanced to third on Byers' hit and then stole home. The third run of the inning came when freshman Kayla Brown, who pinch ran for Byers, crossed the plate on a throwing error by the catcher. SEMO scored a run in the bottom of the second inning, followed by three more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning and one in the bottom of the fifth. The Redhawks recorded three home runs on the game and outhit the Bruins, 8-3.

The second game was close from the outset, with Belmont jumping out to an early 4-3 lead after one inning of play. The Redhawks tied the game at four in the bottom of the second inning before the Bruins scored a run in the top of the third and fourth inning to pull ahead 6-4. Southeast Missouri retook the lead with three runs in the top of fifth inning. In the final frame of regulation, the Bruins answered with four runs, but surrendered three in the home half of the inning, allowing the Redhawks to tie the game. Both teams scored a run each in the eighth and ninth innings before SEMO held Belmont scoreless in the top of the fifth and scored the winning run. Freshman Katie Clancy takes the loss, her first decision of the season. The freshman pitched 7.2 innings after coming on in the second in relief of junior Becca Gift.

The Bruins were led in game two by Byers, who recorded three hits and an RBI. Fellow senior Stayci Cook picked up two hits on the day, while Turner continued her strong offensive performance, recording two RBIs, one run and one hit for the game. Sophomore Mia Vierra, who pitched the first game, had a pinch hit that resulted in two RBIs, while freshman Kat Hollingsworth also recorded two RBIs with a double. Junior Courtney Elrod recorded her second home run of the season, while senior Hannah Irwin, who led the team with two runs, drew two walks, was hit by a pitch, and recorded a sacrifice hit.

Belmont returns to action with two crucial home doubleheaders against conference opponents East Tennessee State and USC Upstate. The Bruins will host ETSU on Friday before the holding Senior Day recognition during Saturday's doubleheader with USC Upstate. Belmont is still mathematically alive in the race for the conference tournament, which adds significance to the weekend regular season finale. The extra innings game against Southeast Missouri was the second of the season for the Bruins. Belmont lost to Tennessee State in eight innings earlier this season. The 11 hits ties a season high for the Bruins, while the 13 run mark is a new season high. Season statistics, full recaps, box scores, and schedule updates are all available at www.belmontbruins.com. Fans can also follow the team on Twitter by searching @BelmontSoftball. Friday's game against ETSU is set to begin at 4 p.m., while Saturday's contest will begin following Belmont's commencement, with the first pitch at 5 p.m.

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