By MacKenzie Tuttle, Digital Content Supervisor
ROME, Ga. – Stringing together 16 hits, the Berry College softball team defeated Birmingham-Southern College twice on Sunday to earn the three-game sweep over the Panthers and the program's sixth straight Southern Athletic Association (SAA) regular season crown. The Vikings defeated BSC 5-3 in game one and then rounded out the day with a 4-1 victory over the Panthers in game two.
With the wins, Berry improves to 28-4 on the year, as well as 13-1 in SAA play. Birmingham-Southern falls to 23-13, as well as 10-5. The Vikings will once again be the top seed in the SAA tournament.
GAME ONE RECAP:
- The Panthers opened up scoring in game one, as Saydee Keith singled to the pitcher to bring home Haley Crumpton and give BSC an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
- Keith then singled to right field in the top of the third inning, driving in both Savannah Lee and Crumpton to expand the Panthers' lead to 3-0.
- Berry answered the very next inning though, as Bayleigh Masterson doubled to left field to knock in both Brittany Tuttle and Brooke Whittemore, cutting the lead to 3-2.
- The Vikings then added an RBI apiece in each of the next three innings, as Genna Telschow, Shelby Daniel and Tuttle added an RBI single, an RBI double and an RBI single, respectively, to ensure Berry's 5-3 victory.
- Makenzie Flynt started the game in the circle for Berry, tossing 3.2 innings, while allowing six hits and three runs, striking out one Panther.
- Kassie Howard (18-1) then rounded out the game in the circle for the Vikings, tossing the final 3.1 frames, while allowing no hits and no runs, striking out five Panthers.
- BSC's Crumpton (20-5) took the loss in the circle for the Panthers, tossing all six innings, while allowing 10 hits and five runs, striking out four Vikings.
- Three Vikings finished the game with two hits in the contest: Tuttle, Daniel and Telschow.
GAME TWO RECAP:
- Berry scored one run in each of the first three innings to take an early 3-0 lead in game two.
- Elisabeth Federici opened up scoring for the Vikings, reaching first on an error by the Panthers' shortstop in the bottom of the first inning to go ahead 1-0.
- Daniel then added a homerun over the left field wall to expand the lead to 2-0 in the bottom of the second inning.
- Masterson tacked on another run in the bottom of the third, reaching first on a fielder's choice to bring home Tuttle and push the lead to 3-0.
- Birmingham-Southern then scored their only run of the game in the top of the fifth inning, as Kendell Hamm singled through the left side of the infield to bring home Kolyn Kyser and cut the score to 3-1.
- Brooke Whittemore then added the final run of the game in the bottom of the same inning, adding a home run to ensure the 4-1 lead.
- Meredith Holland (6-1) earned the win in the circle for Berry, allowing just two hits and one run in her four innings of work.
- Howard earned the save in the contest as well, tossing the final three innings, while allowing two hits and no runs, striking out four batters.
BERRY STATISTICAL STANDOUTS:
- Brittany Tuttle: 4-for-7, 2 R, RBI, 2B
- Kylie Aiken: 2-for-7
- Bayleigh Masterson: 1-for-5, 2 R, 3 RBIs, BB, 2B
- Shelby Daniel: 3-for-6, 2 R, 2 RBIs, 2B, HR
- Genna Telschow: 2-for-4, R, RBI, SB
- Brooke Whittemore: 2-for-5, 2 R, RBI, HR
BIRMINGHAM-SOUTHERN STATISTICAL STANDOUTS:
- Kendell Hamm: 2-for-7, RBI
- Haley Crumpton: 1-for-7, 2 R
- Saydee Keith: 2-for-5, 3 RBIs
- Ella Day: 2-for-3
The Vikings will take on the Panthers of LaGrange College in their next doubleheader contest on Tuesday, April 10 beginning 4:00 p.m. before traveling to Centre this weekend.