MOUNT OLIVE – The University of Mount Olive softball team split a pair of one-run games on Feb. 7 versus Coker in non-conference play, recording a 1-0 shutout victory in Game 1 before falling by a score of 5-4 in Game 2 at Nancy Chapman Cassell Field. With the split, the Trojans moved to 3-1 overall.
In Game 1, junior Hannah Killough improved to 2-0 in the circle this spring while tossing her 12th career complete game shutout. She yielded just two hits and walked seven batters over seven innings (131 pitches) while tallying nine strikeouts. Killough forced Coker to leave 10 runners on base, including five in scoring position.
In the bottom of the first, sophomore left fielder Alyssa Smothers reached base on a hit by pitch before junior third baseman Kylie Emanuele laced an RBI double to left field to give UMO a 1-0 lead. Killough worked herself out of trouble in the second after issuing a pair of walks with one out before a strikeout and fly out to right field stranded the runners. In the bottom half, Mount Olive threatened to add to the advantage with the bases loaded before a pop out to first base finished the frame.
In the top of the third, the Trojans escaped a bases-loaded jam with one out after registering a popup and flyout to right-center to end the inning. Emanuele and junior catcher Cana Shrock delivered back-to-back singles in the third but the Trojans were unable to capitalize after consecutive outs. After three straight scoreless innings, Killough returned to the mound in the seventh and closed out the shutout win to take the opening game of the doubleheader, 1-0.
Emanuele reached base in all three plate appearances – double, single, and a walk.
In Game 2, the Trojans once again got on the board in the bottom of the first inning with junior Courtlynn Cooney leading off with a single before stealing second base. Freshman second baseman Emily Cassidy stepped up and ripped an RBI single to right field to give UMO a 1-0 advantage.
The following inning, the Cobras ended their scoreless drought with a three-run homer to center field to grab the lead, 3-1. Coker added two more runs in the third with a two-run home run to stretch the lead to 5-1. After two scoreless innings for UMO, the Trojans cut into the deficit with a solo homer from freshman Bri Verme to trail 5-2 in the fourth. Verme produced a two-run RBI double to center field in the fifth to trim the deficit to 5-4 before UMO stranded a runner on third to end the frame. Over the final two innings, UMO left a pair of runners on base and ultimately fell by a 5-4 margin.
Verme finished two for four with a solo homer, three RBI and one run scored against the Cobras. Cassidy went two for four with one RBI, while Smothers finished two for three.
Sophomore Callie Thornton suffered the loss (0-1) after surrendering five runs on three hits with two walks and two strikeouts over three innings (62 pitches). Verme tossed four scoreless innings (66 pitches) of relief after yielding two hits with three strikeouts.
— From University of Mount Olive Athletics