Badgers Snag SSAC West Division title
The Spring Hill College softball team split a doubleheader Monday afternoon with the University of Mobile Lady Rams. The Badgers fell in the first game 4-1, but rebounded to win the nightcap 8-2. The win of Game Two handed Spring Hill a share of the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) West Division Regular Season Championship and clinched the Division's No. 1 seed at the conference tournament by benefit of a 3-1 advantage in the regular season series with co-champion William Carey University.
The Badgers loaded the bases in the 1st inning of the opening game, but failed to score as a fly ball to left field closed out the frame. Designated hitter Mary Beth Glass put SHC up 1-0 in the 3rd inning with a double to the gap in left-centerfield that brought shortstop Shea Blanchard around from 1st base with two outs.
Badger starter Caroline Sagrera (32-8) allowed a runner to reach 2nd base with one out in the 6th inning and the Rams made her pay with a single off the glove of Blanchard that scored third baseman Anna Blake Barnette. First baseman Carley Toretta then delivered a two-run double to right-centerfield to stake UMobile to a 3-1 lead. Second baseman Jessica Rogers plated a fourth Ram run with a two-out RBI-single two batters later.
Mobile's Alyssa Kornegay (16-11) out-dueled Sagrera with four hits allowed, four walks and five strikeouts. Sagrera gave up five hits with two walks and nine strikeouts.
UMobile (25-21, 17-11 SSAC) sent Mackensie Williams (9-10) to the circle in the second game as SHC kept Sagrera on the rubber. Blanchard ripped a run-scoring double to the wall in left field with one out in the 1st inning and then trotted home off a double to left-centerfield by Badger catcher Sam Leach.
Right fielder Taylor Lahasky put the third Badger run of the inning on the board with a high chopper over the head of Barnette at 3rd base to bring in Leach. Sagrera gave up a pair of two-out singles in the bottom of the frame, but ended the threat with a strikeout.
Spring Hill made it a 7-0 game in the 3rd inning with four runs off three hits and a Ram infield error, but Mobile put two runs on the board in the 4th off a wild pitch by Sagrera and a hard-hit infield single just off the tip of the pitcher's glove with one out.
Sagrera picked up the win in the second game with seven hits, a walk and 11 strikeouts while Williams took the loss with 11 hits allowed, a walk and three strikeouts.
At the plate, Glass paced SHC with three hits including a double and two RBI while Blanchard added three hits with two doubles and a run-driven-in. Second baseman Raleigh Downs also slapped around three hits with a double and an RBI while Leach collected two hits with a double and an RBI.
For Mobile, shortstop Jordan Coleman enjoyed a four-hit day and right fielder Ashley Middleton added three more hits to the totals for the Rams.
The 10th-ranked Badgers (36-11, 21-7 SSAC) will next travel to Gulf Shores, Ala., on Thursday to begin play in the 2014 SSAC Championship Tournament at 8 pm. versus the winner of Brewton-Parker College and Blue Mountain College.