by Benny Benton
WILSON, N.C. – The Barton College softball team lost a doubleheader at home for the second straight day on Thursday, this time falling in non-conference play to Davis & Elkins College, 9-1 and 3-0.
The Lady Bulldogs (12-15) have now dropped five in a row and six of their last seven. Offense continued to be a particular problem, as Barton managed just five total hits and one unearned run over the two games against the Senators (5-1).
Game 1: Davis & Elkins 9, Barton 1 (5 inn.)
Barton starter Hannah Jones and D&E starter Allie Lapallo locked in a pitcher's duel for most of the game. The Senators got a two-out single in the first inning, but Jones did not allow another until the fifth. Lapallo, meanwhile, held the Lady Bulldogs without a hit over the first three innings.
Megan Kelly finally broke through for Barton in the fourth, leading off the inning with a triple to the gap in right-center and coming around to score after the throw into third base was wild. The triple was Kelly's fifth of the season, one of the top totals in the nation, and extended her hitting streak to 11 straight games.
However, it was the only hit the Lady Bulldogs would gain in the game against Lapallo (3-1), who did not walk a batter and struck out one in the one-hitter.
For all its offensive woes, Barton led the game 1-0 after Kelly's hit, but all that changed in the top of the fifth.
Davis & Elkins produced one-out singles by Lapallo and Rhetta Persinger and a walk to Sydney Turner to load the bases. Jones issued another walk to Kelsie Millner to force in a run that tied the game, then hit Alyssa Cairns with a pitch to plate another run that gave the Senators the lead, 2-1.
Morgan Pedley entered the game in relief of Jones, but the freshman was greeted by an RBI single from Danielle Norton. The next three batters also produced base hits, one of those a bases-clearing double by Alexis Smith, and Pedley exited without recording an out. Jones returned to the mound, but she surrendered a two-run double to Persinger and hit another batter before getting out of the inning on a foulout to third.
Altogether, the Senators produced seven hits and nine runs in the frame, turning a shutout for Barton into an eight-run rule win for D&E.
Game 2: Davis & Elkins 3, Barton 0
Both teams produced one hit in the first two innings but no runs. In the D&E third, Cairns delivered a one-out double down the left field line, and Norton followed with a single to put runners at the corners. Norton was caught stealing second base, but Cairns raced home on the throw to put the Senators into the lead, 1-0.
Davis & Elkins added another run in the fourth when Turner doubled to lead off the frame and scored on pair of wild pitches by Sierra Hearp. The Senators tacked on a third run in the fifth inning on a leadoff walk, a sacrifice bunt, a groundout and another wild pitch.
Barton had its best opportunity to score in the bottom of the fourth after Taylor Bowden and Brittany Jacobs produced back-to-back singles to open the frame. However, Davis & Elkins turned a double-play on a sacrifice bunt attempt, and eventually escaped the inning with two BC runners in scoring position.
D&E starter Victoria Krystynak (1-0) scattered four hits over six innings of work, walking one and striking out one. Sara Tobin tossed a perfect seventh to complete the shutout and collect her first save of the year.
Hearp (6-3) gave up five hits in the complete-game loss for Barton, walking three and striking out one.
Bowden had two of Barton's four hits in the game, while Kelly's 11-game hitting streak came to an end.
Barton will visit Francis Marion University on Sunday, the first of three straight road doubleheaders for the Lady Bulldogs.