MOUNT OLIVE – Junior Hannah Killough and senior Lauren King delivered complete-game performances in the circle with 20 combined strikeouts, as the Trojans registered a doubleheader sweep over Converse on Senior Day at Nancy Chapman Cassell Field on April 2, recording a 6-2 victory in game one before posting a 9-1 run-rule win in game two.
With the sweep, the University of Mount Olive softball team stretched its winning streak to five straight and improved to 19-13 overall with an 8-4 record in league play. Meanwhile, Converse fell to 12-24 this season, behind a 3-9 mark in conference action.
In game one, Killough improved to 10-5 in the circle after yielding two runs on three hits with 13 strikeouts in a complete-game win. She retired the side in order three times during the contest while forcing six flyouts. Killough has won three of her last four starts while tallying double-digit strikeouts for the third time this season.
Following a scoreless first inning, the Trojans opened the scoring in the bottom of the second after junior Lark Collins registered an RBI on a ground out, 1-0. Mount Olive increased the lead in the bottom of the third, driving in three runs on four hits. With one out, UMO had runners on corners before sophomore Alyssa Smothers produced a sacrifice fly to right field to extend the lead to 2-0. The next at-bat, junior Cana Shrock delivered an RBI single on a bunt before advancing into scoring position on a wild pitch. Fellow junior Ashlyn Porter followed with an RBI single up the middle to take a 4-0 advantage.
In the bottom of the fifth, Smothers led off the inning with a double to left field before a single by Shrock put runners on the corners. A passed ball scored Smothers before Porter recorded an RBI on a groundout to hold a 6-0 edge. Converse answered with a two-run double in the seventh inning, but the Trojans claimed the win, 6-2.
Five UMO players registered multi-hit performances, including Smothers, who finished three for three with a pair of doubles, one RBI and one run scored.
In game two, King earned the win (5-4) after surrendering one run on two hits with seven strikeouts and no walks in a 5.0-inning complete game. She secured her third-consecutive win in the circle while boasting a team-best 1.86 ERA this season.
In the bottom of the first, Emanuele ripped a two-run double to left field to take a 2-0 advantage before senior Kameron Lee followed with an RBI single through the right side, 3-0. Smothers added to the lead in the bottom of the second with an RBI double into left-center field, as the Trojans built a 4-0 edge. The Valkyries answered in the top of the third with an RBI double to left field before Porter responded in the bottom half with a solo homer to center field, 5-1.
Mount Olive led off the fourth inning with back-to-back one-out singles before a walk loaded the bases. During the next at-bat, Shrock produced a two-run single through the left side before a double steal stretched the lead to 8-1. Porter once again delivered an RBI single, as the Trojans secured the 9-1 win.
Junior Courtlynn Cooney finished two for three with two runs scored, while Smothers went two for two with one RBI, two runs scored and a stolen base. Porter finished two for three with a solo homer, two RBI and two runs scored, while freshman Olivia Castillo went two for two with one run scored.
— From University of Mount Olive Athletics