CHARLOTTE, N.C.- In the Royals last home game of the year, Queens softball won their last Conference Carolinas doubleheader over Coker College by scores of 8-4 and 8-0 (6). The wins are important ones as they put Queens (22-21) back into the top three of the conference standings with a record of 13-6. Coker (12-21) is in eighth place with a record of 5-11. After today, Queens will wait to see if they are able to take the second seed, depending on how Anderson finishes today against Limestone and tomorrow against Barton.
The Royals have just one more outing before the conference tournament and that is against non-conference opponent Francis Marion on Sunday, April 11 in Florence, S.C. This will be the second meeting between the teams this year as Queens defeated FMU by a score of 2-1 on March 14 at the FMU Tournament.
Coker struck first when Anna Oswald hit a bomb over the left-center fence to put the Cobras up 2-0. The Royals evened the score in the home half of the first.
Keeya Turner led off with a triple to the center field fence followed up with a double by Maria Goode . Megan Campbell singled to drive in Turner and advance Goode. While Megan Lathbury was batting, Campbell made a squeeze play, trying to steal second, allowing Goode to score the game-tying run. Campbell was out on the play. Lathbury was able to reach first on a throwing error by Julia Nelson-Abbott. A pop-out and a ground-out by Brandy Jester and Chantel Dodge closed the inning.
A double to the right field fence by Alisha Waldrop drove in Dodge for the go-ahead run in the bottom of the third inning. Dodge, who reached on a single to right center, rounded the bases and beat out the throw at home.
In the top of the fourth Coker took the lead back with another two-run homer, this time hit by Bri Jacobs. The first run scored, by Mirand Klees, was unearned as she reached on an error by Waldrop.
The score was knotted in the bottom of the fourth when Campbell hit a long fly ball to left field, allowing Amanda Bowman to run for home and score the fourth run for Queens.
Queens broke it open in the bottom of the sixth scoring four runs on four hits. Bowman dropped a perfect bunt in the infield to bring in Richie, who led off with a double. After advancing to second on the throw, Bowman took third and home on passed balls by Becky Dillon. Turner, who is one of Queens most dangerous base runners, was walked and then stole second base. Goode singled to center field for the third hit of the inning. Turner advanced to third on the next at-bat when Campbell flied out the right field and was able to score on Lathbury’s groundout to the shortstop. Jester doubled driving in Goode for her second run of the game.
Coker was able to put two on in the last inning, but strong Royals defense turned three and ended the game.
The Royals offense had 12 hits to Coker’s six. Goode led the effort with three for Queens and Haliegh Rogers had two for Coker.
Dodge picked up the win to improve to 15-9 on the season. She struck out nine in the win and walked two. Sydney Greenwalt had the start for Coker and went 3.1 innings giving up eight hits and four runs. Dillon came in for 2.2 innings giving up the last four runs, four hits, taking the loss.
The Royals continued on their roll from game one right into game two. Turner led off and singled to centerfield. Goode followed up with a sacrifice bunt to move Turner. With Campbell at the plate Turner stole third and then scored as Campbell singled to left field. Campbell would score rounding the bases on a passed ball, a Jester single and a Richie single. Queens tacked on one more in the inning when Lathbury scored after reaching on a walk earlier in the inning.
Queens used three singles in the second to score two runs. Dodge led off with her single, one of two hits in the game, and Turner singled two batters later. Turner stole second while Goode was at the plate, putting two base runners in scoring position. Goode bunted and everyone was safe on the play giving Queens a 4-0 lead. Campbell had yet another RBI out giving the Royals a 5-0 lead after two.
Coker had single hits in the second and third innings, but with Jester in the circle and strong defense, the Cobras didn’t pick up any extra bases.
In the third the Royals offense used three hits to score two more runs and take a 7-0 lead. Richie and Waldrop hit singles off of Greenwalt before Jordan Atkinson c ame in to throw for the Cobras. A passed ball allowed both runners to get into scoring position and a double by Bowman drove them both in.
Neither team saw hits in the fourth inning and Coker threatened in the top of the fifth.
Sarah Price led the inning with a single and a throwing error by Megan Rollins gave Jacobs first base and second as the ball was out of play. Now Coker has two runners ready to score with no outs. Jester offered up pitches the Cobras couldn’t resist and the infield turned the plays 1-2-3 to close the inning and leave two on.
The game came to a close in the sixth after Dodge scored when Ashley Wilson singled, hitting the eight-run run-rule margin.
The win for Jester improves her to 7-11 on the year while Greenwalt takes the loss for Coker. Jester struck out four and gave up seven hits. Through2.1 innings Greenwalt had one strike out and allowed 10 hits. Atkinson gave up two hits and struck two out.
Of the 12 Royals hits Dodge, Turner and Richie each had two. Turner finished the day with four hits, including one triple, and four stolen bases.
Jaclin Poole and Anna Oswald led the Cobras with two hits in the second game.