Softball

Softball Moves Into First Place After Split With Mars Hill

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MARS HILL, N.C. -- Catawba split a South Atlantic Conference softball doubleheader with host Mars Hill on Saturday afternoon at Ponder Field and moved into a four-way tie for first with a week remaining. The Catawba Indians dropped the opener 9-1 then came back in game two to post an 8-3 victory. Catawba is now 22-17 overall and 9-7 in the SAC, while the Lions go to 22-17 and 6-10.

After losing the opener, Catawba game out and scored five runs in the first inning of game two. Carlee Brawley drew a walk to force in the first run, while Leah Huggins followed with a RBI single. Allie Baker doubled home two and Sierrah McCarthy got the final run in on a ground out as the Lady Indians sent 10 batters to the plate in the inning.

Brooke Walser (6-6) made those runs hold up in tossing a complete game. She scattered nine hits, walked one and fanned seven. Huggins had two hits in the win, adding a solo home run in the third. Kaylee Cook and Jordan Dean also had two hits.

Ragan Broome had two hits, including a homer, for Mars Hill, driving in three. Jordan Harris also had two hits. Christina Marasa (5-3) could not get out of the first inning in taking the loss.

Mars Hill did their damage in the first two innings of the opener. Hannah Smith hit a three-run homer in the first and Harris a grand slam in the second. Casey Stanek (14-7), who drove in two of the six runs in the third, got the win. She allowed a run on five hits with three strikeouts in four innings.

Cook had two of Catawba’s five hits. Preston Ellenberg (6-4) took the loss for Catawba as she went just two-thirds of an inning.

Catawba is joined by Newberry, Anderson and Lincoln Memorial in first place with 9-7 marks. LR is a half game out at 8-7, while Carson-Newman (7-7), Wingate (8-8) and Queens (8-8) are a game back. Ninth-place Coker is just a game and half out of first at 7-8 in the league.

Catawba is schedule to face Southern Wesleyan in a non-conference game at home on Monday at 2 p.m.

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