|Final - Game 1||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||R||H||E|
|Montreat (N.C.)||Pitching||Bryan College|
|Montreat (N.C.)||Indv. Stats||Bryan College|
|#6 Sluder, Aubree||Doubles||#24 Smith, Heidi|
|Final - Game 2||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|Montreat (N.C.)||Pitching||Bryan College|
|Montreat (N.C.)||Indv. Stats||Bryan College|
|2 Players (#17,#31)||Doubles||#18 Petty, Courtney|
|None||Triples||#2 Gore, Olivia|
Dayton, Tenn. – In their next-to-last home series of the 2017 season, the Bryan College Lions Softball Team narrowly edged out the visiting Cavaliers of Montreat College (N.C.) 3-2 in game one of Wednesday's doubleheader. The series finale wasn't easily decided either as Bryan slowly worked their way back into the game before tying Montreat 3-3 with one run in the bottom of the seventh. After a scoreless eighth inning, Lion's starting pitcher, Courtney Petty (FR/Lebanon, Tenn.), provided Bryan with an opportunity to end the game again in the ninth after silencing Montreat's three batters in the top of the frame. The first batter for Bryan popped out to first and the next flied out to right, but Kim Borowski (SR/Apopka, Fla.) remained unfazed as she produced a single to short. She continued her clutch play by stealing second to set the Lions up with a chance to seal the game. The Cavaliers were faced with a problem when the slugging Olivia Gore (SR/Cookeville, Tenn.) came up next in the lineup, and Montreat made the mistake by giving her a pitch she liked. After two balls were tossed her way, Gore swung her bat and connected on a single to left-center that plated Borowski for the walk-off victory, giving the Lions the Appalachian Athletic Conference sweep with a 4-3 final.
Bryan is holding down second place in the AAC standings with an overall record of 20-18 and an impressive conference record of 14-4, while Montreat dropped to 10th after falling to 15-36 overall and 6-14 in AAC action.
It only took one inning for the Lions to produce all the runs they needed to outlast the Cavaliers in the opening game. In the bottom of the third inning, Kaleigh Riley (SR/Hixson, Tenn.) sparked the rally with a single to short. Borowski followed and sent the ball to the infield where it looked like Montreat would get the out at first, but Borowski managed to reach base and then advance to second along with Riley taking scoring position at third when the throw to first was a little high and the Cavalier's first baseman missed the catch. The Lions tallied two outs by lining out to left and popping out to second, but Zimmerman kept the momentum alive with an RBI single to left that scored Riley, shifted Borowski to third, and then made her way to second on the throw. It was Aubrie Osborne (FR/Chatsworth, Ga.) who corralled the next two runs as she delivered a single to center that plated Borowski and Zimmerman for the 3-0 lead, which proved good enough to grab the victory.
Sydney West (SO/White House, Tenn.) started in the circle for Bryan and hurled a gem as gave up no runs and only two hits through the first five innings. The tempo was difficult to keep up as she scattered six hits and surrendered the Cavalier's two runs of the contest in the sixth and seventh innings. Four back-to-back singles by Montreat to begin the top of the sixth scored one run, kept the bases loaded, and did all of this with no outs to show for it. Fortunately, the Lions caught a break when a grounder was hit to shortstop Heidi Smith (FR/Cookeville, Tenn.) and she hesitated just enough to force the runner at third to give up going home and turn back. After dishing it to Zimmerman at home, Zimmerman then zipped the ball to third where Osborne made the tag and then successfully helped in chasing down the retreating runner from the other direction for the double play. West got the last batter to pop out, which ended the threat and helped Bryan escape by giving up just one run.
The last run of the game was registered in the top of the seventh and was a result of a hit by pitch, a single to left, and then a single swatted to right to score the Cavalier's runner as the Lions took the 3-2 win.
West pitched a complete seven innings and allowed eight hits, two runs, and tossed three strikeouts with no walks on her way to the win. Smith led Bryan in the hit's column, finishing 2-of-3 with one double and one stolen base. Osborne had a team-high two runs batted in and went 1-of-3 at the plate. Zimmerman, who was 1-of-3 with a run scored, recorded the other RBI. Borowski and Riley each ended with one hit and one run scored, respectively.
In game two, the efforts were spread out over the course of the contest by both sides, but it was Montreat who notched the first run and did so early on. The leadoff Cavalier in the top of the first inning was walked, advanced to second on a fielder's choice, and then easily made it home off a deep double to center field to control a 1-0 lead.
Bryan responded in the bottom of the third frame with a combination of extra-base hits. First was the Lion's pitcher, Petty, who doubled, and then Gore launched a triple to center to plate Petty for the tying run, making it 1-1 after three innings.
It didn't take long for Montreat to counter when they regained the lead with three singles in the top of the fourth to jump ahead 2-1.
The Cavaliers separated themselves from the Lions in the top of the fifth off a single and double, extending the margin to two runs with a score of 3-1.
In the bottom of the frame, Bryan closed the gap back down to one run with the help of Kayla Hayes (FR/Dresden, Tenn.)' leadoff single driven to left. Hayes handed over base-running duties to Shelby Ralston (FR/Dalton, Ga.), who used her speed to advance to second base when Petty laid down a bunt. A single from Borowski allowed Ralston to take scoring position at third, and then a sacrifice fly coming off the bat of Gore provided Ralston with enough time to come home, drawing the Lions within one at 3-2.
Three fly outs by Bryan in the sixth inning made it all come down to the bottom of the seventh as Montreat forced the Lions to come up with one run if they wanted to stay alive. It was Hayes who led off for the home team and helped guide the Lions with a single to begin their at-bat. Lindsey Dunn (FR/Murray County, Ga.) entered as a pinch runner and made her presence known to the Cavaliers when she applied pressure by taking second base on a passed ball. Petty executed another notable bunt that reached base on advanced Dunn to third. Borowski hit into the second out for Bryan, but the shot was good enough to score Dunn to level the game 3-3 and force extra innings if the Lions were not able to end the game beforehand. Gore yielded a single to advance Petty to second, but a strikeout got the third out and sent the game into the eighth inning.
In the top of the inning, Bryan wouldn't let a single Cavalier get on base. As the bottom of the frame unfolded, Zimmerman started play out with a single to center. Courtney Bonaiuto (JR/Munford, Tenn.) took over as a pinch runner and advanced to second when Osborne hit a sacrifice bunt and was putout at first. Smith was up next for the Lions and showed patience as the count grew to 3-1 and then got the pass to first when the fourth ball was thrown her way. With runners on first and second with one out, Bryan's time was cut short with a successful double play turned by Montreat.
All the Cavaliers were able to do in the top of the ninth was fly out and then connect for back-to-back groundouts. The Lions used the defensive stop to add momentum as they headed into the bottom of the frame. Bryan's first two batters got under the ball too much, leading to a pop out at first and a fly out to right field. There was no distracting Borowski though, who stayed focused and singled to short. She made the Lion's bench erupt when she stole second, allowing Gore an opportunity to end the game via walk-off. Gore watched two straight balls be thrown to the catcher before driving an RBI single to left-center, which scored Borowski to triumph 4-3.
Petty delivered in the circle and in the box as she tossed nine entire innings, giving up just nine hits and three runs while walking two and firing six K's. She matched Borowski and Gore with a team-high three hits. She doubled for one of the Lion's two extra-base hits in the game. The other extra-base hit was collected by Gore who tripled and brought in three of Bryan's runs. Borowski produced one RBI, one run scored, and one stolen bag. Hayes was 2-of-3, and both Smith and Zimmerman each had one hit apiece in the contest.
The Lions will host Hiwassee College (Tenn.) in a twinbill on Saturday, Apr. 15, for their last home series of the season. The first pitch of Senior Day is slated for 1pm.
For a complete look at the Bryan Softball schedule, click here.
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