Barton ends 10-game win streak for Chowan, sweeps Hawks in softball doubleheader

Archived photo of freshman Ashton Pegram, who drove in six runs with a pair of doubles in helping the Lady Bulldogs to a doubleheader sweep of Chowan University on Thursday at Jeffries Field. | Photo by Matt Proseus
Archived photo of freshman Ashton Pegram, who drove in six runs with a pair of doubles in helping the Lady Bulldogs to a doubleheader sweep of Chowan University on Thursday at Jeffries Field. | Photo by Matt Proseus

by Benny Benton

WILSON, N.C. – The Barton College softball team ended a 10-game winning streak for Chowan University with an 8-5 victory in game one of a non-conference doubleheader, and completed a sweep of the Hawks with a 13-5 six-inning win in game two Thursday at Jeffries Field.

Freshman Ashton Pegram produced three-run doubles in both games of the doubleheader to pace the Lady Bulldogs. Junior Jessica Onega added two RBI in game one, and freshman Jordan Blake went 3-for-3 and scored three times in the nightcap.

Barton (17-19) received a complete-game pitching effort from Hannah Jones in the first contest, while Sierra Hearp and Pegram combined on the game two effort.

Sophomore Lindsey Stigler had two RBI in both games of the doubleheader for Chowan (17-10) and collected her eighth home run of the season in game two.

Game 1 – Barton 8, Chowan 5

The Lady Bulldogs jumped out to a quick lead in the opener, scoring four times in the bottom of the first off Chowan pitcher Shannon Buchanan (8-5). A two-out, three-run pinch-hit double down the right field line by Pegram put Barton on the board, and Onega followed with an RBI single, also down the right field line.

Chowan manufactured a run in the third after Miranda Glover singled to left, stole second, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a sacrifice fly. However, Barton took advantage of a Chowan error in the third to score two unearned runs off of infield singles by Taylor Martin and Hannah Jones, increasing the lead to 6-1.

The Hawks rallied to within one in the fifth, producing four hits in the inning and collecting consecutive two-run singles by Stigler and Beth Walker to make the score 6-5. But Barton added a run in the bottom of the fifth on a single by Onega that drove in Hayley Grizzle, who had singled and advanced to third on a stolen base and passed ball.

The Lady Bulldogs tacked on a final run in the sixth when Jones walked and scored on a Hearp double off the fence in right-center. Jones then retired Chowan in order in the seventh to close out the complete-game pitching victory, her sixth of the season. Jones (7-7) scattered eight hits, struck out six and did not walk a batter in the win.

Game 2 – Barton 13, Chowan 5 (6 inn.)

The Hawks took advantage of a Barton error and two passed balls to score twice in the first inning of game two.

Barton cut the deficit to 2-1 in the second when Brittany Jacobs doubled and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Taylor Freeman. The Bulldogs took the lead in the third, as a CU fielding error opened the door to three unearned runs by Barton.

The Lady Bulldogs gave Chowan one of those runs back in the top of the fourth, as an error and a passed ball led to an unearned run. However, Barton scored five runs in the bottom of the frame to take a commanding 9-3 lead. Hearp drove in one run with a double off the fence in left-center, and Pegram's bases-clearing double to right produced three more.  All but one of the runs were unearned, as a two-out throwing error accounted for the second run and extended the inning for Pegram to bat.

The Hawks tallied two runs in the fifth, the first off the solo home run by Stigler, her seventh blast in the past nine games. Brittany Parson scored the other run, hitting a two-out double off reliever Pegram and coming home on a single by EmaRae Flores.

However, Barton collected a single run in the bottom of the fifth when Blake scored all the way from second base on a Grizzle infield single to second base. The Lady Bulldogs finished off the contest via the eight-run rule when they added three more runs in the sixth, two on Blake's fourth triple of the year and the final one on a Chowan throwing error.

The Hawks committed four miscues in the game that accounted for eight of Barton's 13 runs. Barton also produced 10 hits off starter Shelby Griffis (7-5) and reliever Flores.

Hearp (4-4) gave up four hits in four innings and one earned run, walking two and striking out five. Pegram worked two innings of relief, surrendering a pair of hits and one run.

Barton will have a brief break in its playing schedule before returning to action on April 7 at King University.