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May 27, 2024 9:04 am

Cooney reaches milestone, UMO sweeps UNC Pembroke

MOUNT OLIVE (April 15) – Junior outfielder Courtlynn Cooney reached the 200-hit milestone in her career on April 15, as the University of Mount Olive softball team completed a doubleheader sweep over UNC Pembroke in Conference Carolinas action at Nancy Chapman Cassell Field, posting a 4-1 win in game one before an 8-0 shutout run-rule victory in game two.

With the sweep, the Trojans improved to 23-15 overall with a 12-6 record in league play. Mount Olive recorded its first doubleheader sweep over UNCP since the 2012 season. Meanwhile, the Braves fell to 16-25 this season with a 9-7 record in conference action.

Cooney becomes the third player in program history to reach the milestone mark as she continues a stellar junior campaign. The Maryland native paces the Conference Carolinas with a .520 batting average after tallying 66 hits in the leadoff spot while also leading the league with 93 stolen bases.

In game one, junior starter Hannah Killough improved to 12-6 in the circle following a seven-inning complete game performance. She delivered double-digit strikeouts with 13 while surrendering one earned run on two hits in the win. Killough retired the side in order twice on Saturday while forcing eight flyouts.

The Braves tallied a run in the top of the first inning after scoring on a  bases-loaded wild pitch to take a 1-0 edge. In the bottom half of the frame, Mount Olive responded with four runs on four hits. Cooney led off with an infield single before advancing into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt. Later in the inning with two outs, junior Kylie Emanuele registered an RBI single down the right-field line to tie the game at 1-1. A hit by pitch and a walk would load the bases before junior Lark Collins laced an RBI single to left-center before freshman Emily Cassidy delivered a two-run single to stretch the advantage, 4-1. Beyond the opening inning, the two sides combined for just six hits, as UMO secured the first game of the series.

Cooney finished two for three with one run scored while Cassidy went two for three with two RBI.

In game two, the Trojans jumped ahead in the bottom of the first inning after Cooney and junior Cana Shrock recorded singles to start the frame. The runners would eventually move into scoring position before Emanuele ripped a two-run double down the left field line to give UMO a 2-0 lead. After a scoreless second inning, Cooney led off the third with a single up the middle before a stolen base and groundout moved her to third base. With one out, Cooney scored on a wild pitch to extend the lead to 3-0. In the bottom of the fourth, freshman Olivia Castillo posted an RBI double to left center before sophomore Alyssa Smothers recorded an RBI on a fielder’s choice, 5-0.

In the fifth inning, Emanuele produced a leadoff double to left center before junior Ashlyn Porter blasted a two-run homer to left field, her eighth of the season, 7-0. With one out, the Trojans placed a pair of runners into scoring position before Castillo delivered a walk-off RBI double to right center, as UMO secured an 8-0 run-rule win.

Sophomore Callie Thornton recorded the win (3-3) after allowing zero runs on four hits with one strikeout in five innings pitched. She forced nine flyouts and four groundouts while facing 19 batters.

— From University of Mount Olive Athletics