RALEIGH, N.C. -- Errors plagued the Meredith College softball defense in a 6-4 loss to the visiting Methodist Monarchs. The Avenging Angels responded with an 8-3 victory in game two to complete a split in the USA South Conference opener. Haley Ervin went four-of-four at the plate to lead Meredith's offense on the day.
There were few positive moments in Saturday's Noon game as the Angels allowed MU to score their first run with two miscues in the opening frame. With two outs on the scoreboard in the top of the second, things went from bad to worse as three more Monarchs crossed the plate on a pair of Angel errors.
The Avenging Angels held Methodist in the top of the third, and Eran Artigues led off in the bottom of the inning with a single. Maria Annunziata advanced on a single through the left side to push Artigues to second, and Kaitlyn Sawyer entered to run. Courtney Saunders drilled a ball down the left field line to score Sawyer and pull the Angels to within one.
But the effort was shortlived as another infield error extended the Monarch lead yet again. Lauren Marbrey relieved Taylor Jackson in the circle and allowed one more unearned run to cross the plate before closing out the frame. The Angels scored one more with help from a Monarch misstep, but MU held on for the win.
A more focused Meredith squad showed up for game two as Artigues opened the scoring with a two-RBI homer. Sarah Watson scored Bucklin just before Saunders was picked off trying to extend her run.
Methodist responded in the top of the second, and the teams continued to battle to a 4-3 Meredith advantage through three innings.
Scoreless through the next two innings, Watson jumpstarted the Angels in the bottom of the sixth with a hard hit single back to the pitcher. Watson moved to third with aggressive base running to ready for Annunziata who stepped in to pinch hit for Charley Cox. With a strong single to the short stop, Annunziata scored Watson. Sawyer advanced on a base-on-balls, and Alyssa D'arco cleared the bases with her second career home run to secure the split for the Angels
Jackson took the loss in game one but finished out the nightcap for her first save on the year. Marbrey earned her third win in the second.
The Angels travel to Florida Sunday to prepare for a three-day, six-game series in The Spring Games beginning Monday afternoon with the Moravian Greyhounds, ranked 22nd nationally in the latest Division III poll. Meredith returns to Raleigh next Saturday to host N.C. Wesleyan in USA South action.