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Softball Sweeps Baldwin for First USA South Wins

Kelsey Mabe fields a ball at shortstop

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Meredith College softball team recorded their first two wins in USA South play Saturday with a pair of wins over visiting Mary Baldwin University. An infield error led to two runs in extra innings of game two to secure the sweep.

Game 1
The Mary Baldwin Fighting Squirrels took an early lead on a two-out, two-RBI double in the first. But the Avenging Angels responded in-kind in the bottom of the frame. Charley Cox scored Kelsey Mabe on a sacrifice fly, and pushed Madison Hamilton to the corner, who scored on the next at-bat to even the score 2-2.

Meredith created four more opportunities to score in the next two stanzas but left three runners stranded. The Angels rallied in the bottom of the fourth, scoring six runs on seven hits to surge ahead. Chloe Johnson, Alyssa Drake, and Mabe loaded the bases with a trio of hits, and Madison Hamilton drove in the first of the inning. Charley Cox scored two more with a single to right field, and Hamilton stole home for number four. Bryce Smith followed with an RBI-single, and Anna Goldman added a sixth with an RBI-walk.

A pair of two-out singles from Cox and Smith in the bottom of the fifth led to a RBI-single from Susanne Taylor to close out the scoring for a win.

Sarah Gundlach struck out eight Fighting Squirrels, walked three and earned two runs in her eighth career complete game pitched. She allowed eight hits in 28 batters for the win. Courtney Back earned the loss for MBU.

Game 2
The second in today's doubleheader was a much more defensive game with just four hits from both teams. Baldwin's best opportunity came in the sixth with runners on first and second. Catcher Sam Breeden advanced both runners with an infield grounder for out one. But a line drive to Payton Aldridge in the circle, followed by a fly ball to Goldman in right, left both runners unscored.

Meredith held MBU in the seventh and finally showed some potential in the bottom of the frame. The Avenging Angels put two on base with help from an error, but neither run moved past second to force the game into extra innings.

The international tiebreaker rule placed Kendall Field on second, and she moved to third on a wild pitch. Lindsay Simmons singled to left scoring Field to give Baldwin a 1-0 lead with no outs on the board. Gundlach relieved Aldridge in the circle, and the Angels managed to get out of the inning trailing by just one.

Goldman started on second for Meredith with Mabe leading off at the plate. Mabe walked, and Hamilton sacrificed to advance both runners. With two outs on the board, Smith's hit slipped under the second baseman's glove, scoring both Angels unearned for the win.

Aldridge faced all but three Baldwin batters, allowing four hits, walking one, and striking out two, and Gundlach finished out the seventh for the win. Morgan Hughes earned the loss for the Fighting Squirrels.

Meredith hosts Salem College tomorrow in another USA South doubleheader with the first pitch slated for Noon. The last time the two team's met, the Spirits knocked the Avenging Angels out of the 2018 conference tournament. Follow the action live HERE.