Photo Courtesy: Hendrix Athletics (Josh Goff)
CONWAY, Ark. (HENDRIX) - The Hendrix College softball team opened a four-game Southern Athletic Association series with Birmingham-Southern by splitting a double-header at Warrior Field on Saturday afternoon. The visiting Panthers (20-10, 11-3) took game one 8-1, but the Warriors (18-8, 8-4) rebounded to win the nightcap 5-4.
In game two, BSC shortstop Taylor Bassett hit a two-run homer in the top of the first and drove in a run in the second to go up 3-0 early. Hendrix answered with two runs in the bottom of the second on RBI-singles by junior catcher DJ Sandidge and junior second baseman Catelyn Gibbs.
The Warriors took a 5-3 lead with three runs on four hits in the third. Sophomore right fielder Morgan Fires drove in freshman designated player Jill Sikes with a base hit and senior center fielder Sydney Copeland knocked in two with a double.
Alyssa Statham recorded an RBI-double in the top of the sixth for the Panthers for the final run of the game.
Sandidge went 3-for-3 with a RBI to lead the Warriors at the plate. Fires had two hits and two runs scored and Gibbs came up with two hits. Bassett went 3-for-3 with three RBI for BSC. Statham, Bethany Fronk and Joanna Jernigan had two hits each.
Hendrix sophomore Lauren Whitby (5-1) earned the win, allowing 10 hits, three earned runs and four walks with a strikeout. Fronk (15-8) took the loss in relief, going 4.1 innings and giving up six hits, three runs, one walk and two strikeouts.
In game one, the Panthers scored two runs in the first. The Warriors scored in the first when junior left fielder Tiffany Hubbard led off with an infield single, was moved over on a bunt by sophomore shortstop Michaela Larabee and scored on a Sikes single up the middle.
BSC scored three runs in the fourth, Bassett led off the fifth with a solo home run and they scored two in the seventh for the 8-1 tally.
Senior pitcher Ashley Halbert had two hits and Hubbard and Sikes had one each for Hendrix. Third baseman Brittany Berkopec went 3-for-4 with a double and a stolen base for BSC. Fronk was 2-for-4 with two driven in.
Fronk earned the win with five strikeouts, allowing just four hits and a run in seven innings. Halbert (8-6) gave up 12 hits, four earned runs and a walk in the complete game loss.
The Warriors and Panthers will wrap up the series on Sunday at noon. Hendrix will honor their three seniors - Halbert, Copeland and Paula Burr after the second game.