DUNCAN, S.C. – The No. 7-seeded Trojans were eliminated from the Conference Carolinas Championship on April 28 in the play-in game after suffering an extra-innings loss versus No. 10-seeded Erskine by a 9-5 margin. With the loss, the University of Mount Olive softball team closes the year with a 23-20 overall record.
In the top of the first inning, junior Courtlynn Cooney reached base on a fielding error before advancing to third following a stolen base and a groundout. With one out, fellow junior Kylie Emanuele delivered an RBI double to center field to give UMO a 1-0 edge. After a scoreless second inning, the Flying Fleet answered with a two-run single through the right side to take a 2-1 lead. In the bottom of the fourth, junior Cana Shrock tied the game at 2-2 on a solo homer to left field, her team-leading 12th of the season. Following three more scoreless innings, the game went into extra innings with the contest knotted at 2-2.
With the international tiebreaker in effect, Erskine produced a sacrifice bunt to advance the runner to third before scoring on an RBI single to center field, 3-2. In the bottom half of the eighth, the Trojans quickly scored on a throwing error to tie the game at 3-3. After a hit-by-pitch and a sacrifice bunt, UMO had a pair of runners in scoring position with one out. The Flying Fleet ultimately escaped the frame after forcing a popout and groundout. In the ninth, both teams brought across another run to extend the game into the 10th inning. In the top half, Erskine regained the lead with a bunt RBI single before loading the bases with one out. The next at-bat, the Flying Fleet delivered a grand slam to stretch the advantage to 9-4. In the bottom of the 10th, Emanuele cut into the deficit with an RBI single to left-center before Erskine induced a double play and a groundout to clinch the win, 9-5.
Emanuele finished three for five with two RBI and one run scored, while Cooney went two for four with one RBI, one run scored and a walk. Shrock also finished the game two for four with a solo homer and one run scored.
Junior Hannah Killough was saddled with the loss (12-9) after yielding nine runs (six earned) on eight hits with 10 strikeouts in 9 1/3 innings in the circle.
— From University of Mount Olive Athletics