Barton splits non-conference doubleheader with Peach Belt Conference foe USC Aiken

Archived photo of sophomore Hannah Jones, who recorded a complete-game pitching victory in game one and produced two hits at the plate in game two of a doubleheader with USC Aiken on Thursday in Wilson, N.C. | Photo by Brittany Arent
Archived photo of sophomore Hannah Jones, who recorded a complete-game pitching victory in game one and produced two hits at the plate in game two of a doubleheader with USC Aiken on Thursday in Wilson, N.C. | Photo by Brittany Arent

by Benny Benton

WILSON, N.C.Hannah Jones scattered seven hits and two runs in a complete-game pitching victory, and Barton scored four runs in the first three innings to hand her USC Aiken counterpart, Lyndie Dorgan, her first loss of the year in the first game of a non-conference softball doubleheader Thursday at Jeffries Field.

The Lady Bulldogs (16-19) had opportunities in the nightcap as well before Chandler Terrapin's seventh-inning grand slam turned a close game into a 6-0 victory for the Pacers (17-11-1).

Brittany Jacobs continued to swing a hot bat for Barton, going 4-for-5 in the doubleheader. The junior from Spotsylvania, Va., now has five multi-hit games in the team's last eight contests and is hitting .542 over that span (13-for-24).

Game 1: Barton 4, USC Aiken 2

Barton got out to a quick start against Dorgan (4-1), using a leadoff double from Megan Kelly and an RBI single from Jacobs to score just four batters into its first at-bat. Sierra Hearp, who was hit by a pitch ahead of the Jacobs single, later scored on a two-out single to left-center by Taylor Martin, putting BC up 2-0 after one inning.

The Lady Bulldogs struck again in the third. With one out, Hearp doubled to the gap in right-center and Jacobs walked. Taylor Bowden followed with a single to right that drove in Hearp, and when the throw home from the outfield was wild, Jacobs came in as well to put Barton up 4-0.

Dorgan was lifted after Bowden's hit, having surrendered five hits and four runs (three earned) in just 2 1/3 innings of work. Hannah Price worked the final 3 2/3 innings for the Pacers, giving up just one hit and walking two while striking out four.

USC Aiken advanced two runners into scoring position in the third after Jones hit consecutive batters to open the frame, but she got a pair of groundouts to escape the inning without giving up a run.

The Pacers finally broke through in the fifth. Brielle Jungblut beat out a throw to first on a two-out grounder to third base, then stole second base and scored on a bloop single to center that fell between Barton's infield and outfield after some miscommunication. Sydney Kate Murphy, who produced the hit, advanced to second base on the throw home, then scored herself on another single to center by Terrapin.

In the seventh, USC Aiken threatened again after getting a leadoff single from pinch-hitter Courtney Strauss and a one-out infield single from Jungblut. However, Jones used a groundout to short and a fly ball to center to close out the inning and the win.

Jones (7-5) did not walk a batter and struck out one in posting her 10th complete game of the season.

Game 2: USC Aiken 6, Barton 0

It was the Pacers who got on the board in the first inning of the second contest. Jungblut beat out an infield single to short, stole second base, moved to third on a single by Terrapin and scored on a single through the left side by Price.

USC Aiken could have done far more damage after getting four hits in the frame, but Barton starter Makayla Meeks got a groundout and a strikeout to end the inning and leave the bases full of Pacers.

The Pacers added a run in the fourth when Magan Jean Thrower walked, moved to third on a double by Strauss and scored on a sacrifice fly to right off the bat of Hayley Elkins.

Meeks (3-5) kept Barton close over the first six innings by giving up just three hits after USC Aiken's outburst in the first.

The Lady Bulldogs had numerous chances on offense, putting the leadoff batter on base in five of the seven innings. However, each time Terrapin pitched her way out of trouble, stranding seven BC runners, six of them in scoring position.

Terrapin (6-5) allowed seven hits and did not walk a batter while striking out five in recording her second shutout of the season.

The Western Carolina University transfer finally put the game away in the seventh from the plate. After Elkins doubled, Leah Boghosian singled and Jungblut singled to load the bases, Terrapin fouled off five Meeks pitches in a nine-pitch at-bat before lining a 3-2 offering over the fence down the left field line for a grand slam, her fourth home run of the year.

The home run was the third hit of the day for Terrapin. Four other players had two hits each in the 13-hit attack for USC Aiken. Jones, Jacobs and Samantha Santmyers each had a pair of hits for Barton.

BC will return to action on Saturday with a 1 p.m. Conference Carolinas doubleheader against Erskine College.