MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. – Coker scored two unearned runs in the first inning and pitcher Somer Bigham made it stand with a three-hitter as Mount Olive fell 2-1 in game two of a Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference softball doubleheader Saturday at Nancy Chapman Cassell Field. Coker took game one 6-0 as Amanda Shelton tossed a six-hit shutout and Eunice Nettles’ bases-loaded two-run double broke a scoreless tie and sparked a four-run third inning.
In the first game, Coker loaded the bases with nobody out in the top of the third on three consecutive walks and Nettles followed with a double to right-center to make the score 2-0. A sacrifice fly scored another run and Nicole Crider’s RBI-double gave the Cobras a 4-0 lead.
Mount Olive (13-28 overall, 5-13 CVAC) was held hitless until Emily Escolas singled to left with one out in the bottom of the third. Escolas and Jamie Pruitt had two hits apiece for the Trojans. Tiffany Johnson went 3-for-4 for Coker.
Coker (21-16, 10-4) extended its lead in the top of the fourth on Jessica Blackwell’s two-run homer to left-center.
The Trojans threatened in the fifth inning when Pruitt singled to right and Escolas beat out a bunt single with one out. Colleen Thomas’ sacrifice moved the runners to second and third, but Coker right fielder Jacque Stewart made a running catch on Melissa Bright’s line drive to right-center to end the inning.
Mount Olive made one last rally in the bottom of the seventh, loading the bases on singles by Kim Goens, Pruitt and Thomas, but Shelton sealed the win with her seventh strikeout of the game.
In the second game, Blackwell singled with one out in the top of the first, stole second and scored when Jacque Stewart reached on a throwing error. Stewart moved to third on a line out and scored on Kimberly Atkinson’s two-out single. Escolas prevented a potential big inning when she robbed Nettles of an extra-base hit with a running catch in right-center field.
The Trojans threatened in the third inning when Thomas led off with a double and advanced to third on a wild pitch, but was thrown out at the plate on a squeeze attempt. A two-out error gave Mount Olive runners on second and third, but Bigham got out of the inning with a strikeout, one of seven on the day.
Mount Olive got on the scoreboard in the fourth as Pruitt hit a leadoff single and pinch-runner Alexis Briley moved to second on Shauna Cowdrey’s sacrifice. Escolas singled up the middle one out later to score Briley and pull the Trojans within a run, but Bigham again got a strikeout to end the inning.
After the first inning, Cowdrey held Coker scoreless on two hits over the next five innings before giving way to Erin Case, who pitched a scoreless seventh. Cowdrey and Case combined on a five-hitter for the Trojans, while Bigham allowed only one baserunner over the final three innings for Coker.
Coker continues its road trip with a double header Sunday, April 10, at Barton College.