Barton softball drops two at Emmanuel

Archived photo of freshman Jordan Blake, who went 4-for-4 with three runs scored and two stolen bases in a doubleheader at Emmanuel College on Friday. | Photo by Matt Proseus
Archived photo of freshman Jordan Blake, who went 4-for-4 with three runs scored and two stolen bases in a doubleheader at Emmanuel College on Friday. | Photo by Matt Proseus

by Benny Benton

FRANKLIN SPRINGS, Ga. – Barton College dropped a pair of Conference Carolinas road games on Friday, falling 5-0 and 18-15 at Emmanuel College.

The Lady Bulldogs managed just three hits and struck out 10 times against Emmanuel pitcher Erin Harden in the opener, and the BC defense committed three errors that led to all five runs for the Lions.

In the nightcap, Barton enjoyed an 11-2 lead in the middle of the third and 13-4 advantage in the middle of the fourth, but the Lions roared back with 14 runs over their final three at-bats to rally for the win.

Freshman Jordan Blake went 4-for-4 with three runs scored and a pair of stolen bases over the doubleheader. Sophomore Taylor Martin went 5-for-7 with four RBI and two stolen bases, and junior Hannah Jones went 5-for-6 with four runs scored.

The losses bumped the Lady Bulldogs to 15-17 overall and 3-5 in league play. The Lions improved to 10-14 overall and also moved to 3-5 in the conference.

Game 1 – Emmanuel 5, Barton 0

The 10 strikeouts by Barton were a season-high as Hardin (6-5) dominated from the circle. The senior from Dalton, Ga., took a no-hitter into the fifth inning, when Jones broke it up with a leadoff single down the left field line. Blake followed with another single and Martin later doubled, but BC ran itself out of the inning and failed to score.

Emmanuel collected all the runs it would need in the first inning off Barton starter Sierra Hearp (3-4), producing three hits and taking advantage of two Barton errors to score three times. The Lions added two more runs in the second on two hits and another BC miscue.

The Lions totaled eight hits off Hearp, who walked four and struck out four.

Game 2 – Emmanuel 18, Barton 15

Barton began the slugfest with four runs in the first inning on three hits and an EC error. Blake delivered the biggest hit, a two-out, two-run triple to right.

Emmanuel cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the frame with a two-run homer by Mary Baxter, the first of four home runs in the game for the Lions.

However, Barton sent 10 batters to the plate in the top of the second inning and scored six runs on six hits and two Emmanuel errors. Ashton Pegram produced a double in the inning that cleared the bases.

Hearp cranked her team-leading third home run of the season in the third, pushing Barton's lead to 11-2. Emmanuel scored two in the bottom of the third, but the Lady Bulldogs responded with two in the top of the fourth on a two-run single by Martin to move the margin back to nine runs at 13-4.

But Emmanuel greeted Barton reliever Teagan Crosby with back-to-back home runs by Baxter and Brianna Morgan to open the bottom of the fourth, kick-starting a six-run inning that included four more hits and two BC errors.

The Lions tied the game at 13-all in the fifth off reliever Pegram (2-1). Barton threw one runner out at the plate, but the next batter, Alannah Long, ripped a three-run homer to tie the game.

Barton regained its lead at 15-13 in the sixth after a two-run single by Martin, but Emmanuel tallied five runs in the bottom of the frame off Pegram and Hearp on seven hits and BC's sixth error of the contest.

Hardin pitched a perfect seventh in relief for Emmanuel, striking out two, to earn her first save of the season. Long (1-3) earned the win despite giving up 11 hits and five runs in five innings.

Barton collected 17 hits in the game, but gave up a season-high 21.

BC will continue its road trip on Saturday with a visit to Erskine College in Due West, S.C. First pitch for game one is slated for 1 p.m.