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February 29, 2024 5:31 pm

Mount Olive splits doubleheader at Barton

WILSON – Junior Hannah Killough delivered a 10-strikeout performance on April 12, as the Trojans split a doubleheader at Barton in Conference Carolinas play, registering a 2-1 extra-inning win in game one before falling by a 7-3 margin in game two.

With the split, the University of Mount Olive softball team holds a 21-15 record with a 10-6 mark in conference action. The Trojans remain sixth in the Conference Carolinas standings with three series left in the regular season. Meanwhile, Barton stands at 17-19 this season with an 8-8 record in league play.

In game one, Killough improved to 11-6 in the circle, tossing a nine-inning complete game win after surrendering one run on seven hits with 10 strikeouts and one walk. She has tallied double-digit strikeouts in four contests while ranking third in the Conference Carolinas with 125 strikeouts this year. Killough also forced 10 flyouts and seven groundouts after facing 35 batters.

After seven scoreless innings, the opening game entered extra innings with the international tiebreaker in place. Freshman Emily Cassidy started the eighth on second before advancing to third on a popout to center field. With one out, junior Courtlynn Cooney laced an RBI single to left field to give UMO a 1-0 advantage. In the bottom half, Barton tied the contest at 1-1 following a sacrifice fly to left field to stretch the game into the ninth. Junior Adrianna Efird started the inning on second and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt. During the next at-bat, Efird scored on a wild pitch to record the eventual game-winning run, 2-1.

Cooney and sophomore Alyssa Smothers finished two for four at the plate.

In game two, Cooney led off the top of the first with a double to right field before advancing to third on a sacrifice bunt. With two outs, junior Kylie Emanuele registered an RBI double to center field to give the Trojans an early 1-0 advantage. After a scoreless second frame, the Trojans added to the lead with a two-run homer by Emanuele, her ninth of the season, to extend the lead to 3-0. In the bottom of the third, Barton scored five runs on four hits, highlighted by a three-run homer to claim a 5-3 edge. The Bulldogs stretched the advantage with two additional runs in the bottom of the sixth on a two-run double to hold a 7-3 lead. The Trojans left three runners on base in the final four frames, including one in scoring position.

Cooney went three for four with one run scored, while Emanuele finished two for four with a homer, three RBI and one run scored.

Senior Lauren King suffered the loss (5-5) yielding five runs, four earned, on six hits with one strikeout and two walks in 2 2/3 innings. Sophomore Callie Thornton pitched the final 3 1/3 innings scattering six hits with two runs surrendered and three strikeouts.

— From University of Mount Olive Athletics