KISSIMMEE, Fla. - The Bridgewater College softball team split its first two games Sunday in Florida, defeating St. Joseph's (ME) 7-3 before falling 8-3 in an evening contest against Defiance.
Bridgewater scored six runs in the first inning against St. Joseph's and held off the Monks the rest of the way.
Lindsey Talley singled to lead off the first and Sydney Layman reached on an error. Carlita Tibbs chased Talley home with a double to centerfield to put the Eagles on the scoreboard. Mariah Wharton walked to load the bases and Katie Merhout followed with a two-run single to center, making the score 3-0. Stephanie Carroll reached on an error to load the bases again and two runs scored when Morgan Landes' grounder to second was misplayed for an error, giving the Eagles a 5-0 lead. Talley walked to reload the bases and Layman drew a walk to force home a run to put the Eagles on top 6-0.
The teams traded runs in the second inning. Kaylee Burns scored on an infield grounder to put the Monks on the board in the top of the inning, but the Eagles answered in the bottom half of the frame. With two outs and the bases empty, Merhout doubled and then scored on a double by Carroll, giving the Eagles a 7-1 lead.
A two-run double by Burns in the fifth, pulled the Monks to within 7-3, but Eagles' pitcher Brooke Louden hung zeroes on the scoreboard in the final two frames to finish off the 7-3 victory. Louden went the distance to pick up the win in the circle. She allowed three earned runs on nine hits.
Merhout and Tibbs each had two hits to pace the Eagles' eight-hit attack.
In the second game, Defiance's Brooke Gostomsky belted a two-run homer in the bottom of the first inning and the Yellow Jackets never trailed.
Bridgewater made it 2-1 with a run in the top of the third. Victoria Gontarz reached on a single and moved to second on a grounout. Makalia Guard chased Gontarz home with a single to left, pulling the Eagles to within a run. Defiance answered in the bottom half of the inning on a solo homer by Mariah Huff to lead 3-1.
The Yellow Jackets expanded the lead in the fourth, combining three hits with a walk to score three runs for a 6-1 cushion.
The Eagles added another run in the fifth when Gontarz reached on an error to lead off the inning and scored on a double by Guard, trimming the deficit to 6-2.
Two more runs in the sixth put the Yellow Jackets ahead 8-2 before the Eagles scored their final run in the top of the seventh. Gontarz led off the inning with an infield single and moved to second on a groundout. With two outs, Tibbs walked and Ryann Crennan followed with a double, scoring Gontarz to make the score 8-3.
Bridgewater finished the contest with 12 hits, just one less than Defiance. Guard paced the attack with a 3-for-4 effort at the plate and two RBIs. Talley and Gontarz added two hits each.
Bridgewater is now 2-2 on the season.