Armstrong Atlantic sweeps conference foe Young Harris in doubleheader
YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. -- No. 4 Armstrong Atlantic swept a Peach Belt Conference doubleheader from league newcomer Young Harris on Saturday, winning 7-5 in eight innings and 8-5 in the second game.
The Pirates (27-4-1, 10-2 PBC) moved into a first-place tie in the PBC standings with the sweep, while Young Harris fell to 23-31 overall and 5-11 in the league in the first meeting between the the new league rivals.
Armstrong had to come from behind to take game one against the Mountain Lions. With the score tied at four, Dominique Sibley's RBI double in the bottom of the fifth inning put Young Harris ahead by one run 5-4.
In the top of the seventh inning, Shelby Duff was hit by a pitch with one out, then moved to second on an error. Peyton Roth singled up the middle and Alexis Mercer was hit by a pitch, loading the bases for the Pirates. Hannah Reppert then hit a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Duff and sending the game into extra innings.
The top of the eighth saw pinch hitter Celia Blome and Haley Ellis each hit by pitches to start the frame. A fielder's choice put runners at the corners with one out, then Duff delivered the go-ahead RBI single, while Brittany Cooley followed with a pinch-hit RBI single to put the Pirates ahead 7-5.
Rachel Reynolds (2-0) hurled four innings of three-hit relief, giving up one run and one walk while striking out four to pick up the win for the Pirates in game one. Katie-Jo Gentry (7-12) took the loss for the Mountain Lions in game one, giving up three runs and three hits in two innings of relief.
Duff went 3-for-4 in game one for Armstrong offensively, while Reppert drove in three runs. Sarah Magill led the Mountain Lions in game one by going 3-for-3 with a double.
The Pirates then scored eight runs in the first four innings of game two, then held off Young Harris late for the 8-5 win.
Duff led off the game with a solo home run in the first, then added an RBI in the second along with Roth to make the score 3-0. Reppert added a solo shot in the third inning and Mercer launched a two-run shot in the four-run fourth inning.
Young Harris plated three runs in the third inning and added two more in the seventh, but Megan Barnwell (16-3) finished off the game to earn the win in relief for the Pirates.
Barnwell hurled 4.2 innings of four-hit, two-run ball, walking three while striking out four to notch the victory for the Pirates. Gentry took the loss in game two, giving up 10 hits and seven runs - six earned - in 3.1 innings of work, striking out one.
Mercer and Reppert each went 3-for-5 while Reynolds went 3-for-4 to pace the Pirate offensive attack in game two. Stacia Williams drove in three runs to lead Young Harris in the second game.