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April 17, 2024 5:44 am

UMO softball team falls twice at Wingate

WINGATE – The Trojans dropped both games of a doubleheader at Wingate on Feb. 15 in non-conference play, suffering a 14-4 run-rule loss in game one before falling by a 5-3 margin in game two.

With the losses, the University of Mount Olive softball team moved to 3-3 overall after playing on the road for the first time this season. Meanwhile, Wingate remained undefeated at home and improved to 6-4 this year after advancing to the NCAA Southeast Regional Finals in 2022.

In game one, the Trojans established an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning after junior Kylie Emanuele belted a two-run homer to right field, her first of the season. UMO worked out of trouble in the bottom half of the frame by stranding a pair of runners before going down in order at the top of the second. The Bulldogs tied the contest 2-2 in the bottom of the second on a solo homer and an RBI double down the left-field line.

Wingate took control of the game in the third inning after bringing across six runs on five hits, including three straight RBI singles, to take an 8-2 advantage. Mount Olive answered in the top of the fourth inning with a two-run home run from junior Cana Shrock, her third of the year, to cut the deficit to 8-4. The Bulldog offense was clicking on all cylinders in the bottom half of the frame scoring six more runs to stretch the lead to 14-4 heading into the fifth. Wingate sealed the run-rule victory in the top of the fifth after stranding one runner on base.

Junior Courtlynn Cooney finished two for three with one run scored and two stolen bases, while Emanuele went one for one with a home run, two RBI, two runs scored and one walk. Shrock completed the game one for two with a two-run homer and freshman Bri Verme also finished one for two.

In the circle, junior Hannah Killough suffered the loss (2-1) after surrendering nine runs (eight earned) on nine hits with three strikeouts and two walks over three innings pitched.

In game two, Wingate took an early advantage after back-to-back singles in the bottom of the second. With two outs, the Bulldogs delivered an RBI single before another run scored on a throwing error to make the score 2-0. After a scoreless third frame, UMO started the fourth with a single to center field by Emanuele before Shrock hammered a two-run homer to tie the contest at 2-2. Following a strikeout, sophomore Olivia Reardon blasted a solo home run to left field to put the Trojans ahead, 3-2.

In the bottom of the fourth, Wingate answered with a solo homer to tie the game 3-3 before both teams were retired in order in the fifth inning. The Bulldogs capitalized in the sixth frame after loading the bases with no outs. The next at-bat, Wingate registered a two-run single to capture a 5-3 advantage. The Trojans escaped further damage after recording three consecutive outs. In the top of the seventh, Mount Olive was retired in order, as the Bulldogs secured the doubleheader sweep.

Senior Lauren King was saddled with the loss (0-1) after pitching five innings with five runs allowed (four earned) on three walks and two strikeouts. Sophomore Callie Thornton tossed one inning of scoreless relief with one walk and one strikeout.

— From University of Mount Olive Athletics