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April 17, 2024 4:15 am

Mount Olive softball sweeps past Coker

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – The Trojan offense exploded for 24 runs and tallied 28 hits on Thursday afternoon in a doubleheader sweep at Coker in non-conference action, registering a 13-5 win in Game 1 before posting an 11-6 victory in Game 2.
With the victories, the University of Mount Olive softball program improves to 8-2 overall while making its first road trip of the season. The Trojans also hold an 8-2 mark against the Cobras dating back to 2019. Meanwhile, Coker falls to 3-5 this season with a 1-3 mark against Conference Carolinas opponents.
In Game 1, the Trojans recorded 15 hits, led by senior Kylie Emanuele with a 4-for-5 performance at the plate with two RBIs and one run scored. Fellow senior Courtlynn Cooney finished 2-for-4 with three runs scored, while teammate Cana Shrock went 2-for-4 with three RBIs, one walk, and one run scored. Freshman Laci Best and junior Alyssa Smothers each produced a pair of hits in the win.
Following a scoreless first inning, Mount Olive totaled three runs on three hits to build an early lead. Best delivered a leadoff double to center field before Emanuele laced a single to left field and advanced to second during the next at-bat. Smothers followed with an RBI single to center field before a fielder’s choice and a ground out scored additional runs, 3-0.
The Cobras countered in the bottom of the second with a solo homer to close the gap to 3-1, but Emanuele answered back with an RBI single to center field in the third, 4-1. The Trojans brought another run across in the top of the fifth with an RBI double from Shrock to extend the lead to 5-1. Coker trimmed the deficit in the bottom of the frame with three runs on two hits, including a three-run homer, 5-4. In the top of the sixth, the Trojans stretched the advantage to 7-4 before recording six more runs on seven hits in the seventh frame. UMO registered three RBI doubles in the seventh inning to take a significant 13-4 lead. The Cobras scored in the bottom half of the frame with an RBI double, as Mount Olive secured a 13-5 win.
Senior starter Hannah Killough earned the win (3-1) after yielding five earned runs on six hits with six strikeouts in 6.1 innings in the circle. Sophomore Bri Verme registered the final two outs to close out the contest.
In Game 2, Shrock went three-for-five with one RBI and one run scored, while Emanuele totaled three hits, one RBI, and two runs scored against the Cobras. Senior Emma Mooney finished 2-for-4 with one walk and one run scored.
Coker established a quick 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first, highlighted by a three-run homer. Following a scoreless second and third frame, the Trojans rallied back with five runs on three hits to take a 5-4 advantage. With two outs, senior Carly Curcio produced an RBI single to left field before fellow senior Adrianna Efird launched a grand slam.
Mount Olive scored one run in the top of the fifth before the Cobras ripped an RBI single to left field, 6-5. In the top of the seventh, the Trojans registered five runs on six hits, including a solo homer by Shrock, her team-leading fourth of the year. The Cobras hit a solo homer in the seventh, but UMO completed the sweep with an 11-6 victory.
Junior Callie Thornton delivered her fourth complete-game performance and earned the win (4-1) after surrendering six runs on 13 hits with three strikeouts.
The Trojans will host a three-team round-robin tournament this weekend on Feb. 17-18 as they welcome USC Beaufort and West Liberty for non-conference play.