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April 17, 2024 4:38 am

Senior infielder reaches milestone as Mount Olive sweeps Winston-Salem State in softball

WINSTON-SALEM – Senior infielder Kylie Emanuele achieved the 200-hit milestone in her career on Thursday afternoon, as the University of Mount Olive softball program completed a doubleheader sweep over Winston-Salem State in non-conference play.
With the sweep, the Trojans extend their winning streak to eight in a row and improves to 14-2 this season, behind a 4-0 mark on the road. In the series, Mount Olive holds an 11-1 mark dating back to 2017 while winning the last 10 meetings. Meanwhile, the Rams drop to 1-6 overall and were picked sixth in the preseason Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) poll.
Emanuele becomes the fourth player in program history to reach the milestone mark as she continues her breakout senior campaign. She also climbs to second on the all-time home runs list with 31 as she approaches the record of 32 at UMO. This season, Emanuele is batting .538 with seven home runs, 30 RBIs, and 20 runs scored through 16 games played.
Additionally, senior Courtlynn Cooney tied the all-hit hits record at Mount Olive with 233 hits to place her alongside Michelle Matthew (1997-2000), who held the mark for over two decades.
In Game 1, Mount Olive took an early 2-0 advantage in the top of the first inning after the lead-off batter Cooney reached base on an error before later advancing into scoring position. With no outs, fellow senior Emma Mooney laced an RBI single to center field. Later in the frame, Emanuele registered an RBI single to left field to take a two-run advantage.
In the top of the fourth, the Trojans extended their lead with three runs on five hits. Senior Cana Shrock tallied a pair of RBIs before teammate Lark Collins notched an RBI single to center field, 5-0. In the bottom of the sixth, the Rams cut the deficit to 5-3 before the Trojans added an insurance run in the seventh with an RBI single from senior Carly Curcio, 6-3.
Emanuele finished 3-for-4 with one RBI while freshman Laci Best went 2-for-4 at the plate.
In the circle, junior Callie Thornton tossed her fifth complete game of the season and carried a no-hitter into the bottom of the sixth inning. She improved to 6-1 overall while yielding three runs (one earned) on four hits with eight strikeouts and two walks in 7.0 innings.
In Game 2, Emanuele established a 2-0 lead in the top of the first frame on a two-run homer. Following a pair of scoreless innings, the Trojans tallied two walks and a hit-by-pitch before Best recorded an RBI on a two-out walk in the third, 3-0.
In the top of the seventh, Emanuele produced a solo homer, her second of the game, to stretch the lead to 4-0. A pair of singles and a walk would load the bases with no outs before a wild pitch scored Shrock from third, 5-0. Senior Adrianna Efird registered an RBI on a walk before UMO later scored on a stolen base, 7-0. Later in the inning, junior Meredith Smith entered as a pinch hitter and delivered a two-run single to center field before Emanuele in her second plate appearance of the frame laced an RBI single to center field, 10-0. The Trojans closed out the seventh with two more runs, including an RBI single from Curcio.
Emanuele totaled two homers, three hits, four RBIs, and three runs scored, while Curcio went 2-for-2 with one RBI and one run scored.
Sophomore Bri Verme improved to 3-0 this year after tossing her third complete game. She held a no-hitter until the bottom of the fifth and surrendered just one hit with eight strikeouts in 7.0 scoreless innings.
Mount Olive returns to non-conference play on Saturday, Feb. 24, when it faces Limestone in a doubleheader, starting at 1 p.m.