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Four-Run Sixth Lifts Eagles To Win

Mariah Wharton bats for the Eagles.

KISSIMMEE, Fla. - Bridgewater College scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning Monday afternoon to snap a 5-5 tie and then held on in the seventh to defeat Bluffton College, 9-8.

Josie McElroy's two-run double in the top of the first put Bluffton on top 2-0. After the Eagles scored one run in the bottom of the second, the Beavers added two more in the third to lead 4-1. 

The Eagles took their first lead with four runs in the bottom of the third inning. Sydney Layman led off the inning with a double and Katie Merhout walked to put two runners on. Layman scored on Mariah Wharton's RBI-grounder and Merhout continued home when the first baseman mishandled the throw from shortstop as the Eagles pulled to within 4-3. Stephanie Carroll chased Wharton home with a double, tying the score at 4-4. After Ryann Crennan walked, Brook Louden singled to center. Carroll scored when the relay home was thrown away, giving Bridgewater a 5-4 lead.

Bluffton tied the score with a run in the fourth, but the Eagles surged ahead with the four-run outburst in the sixth inning. 

Morgan Landes led off the sixth with a bunt single and raced around to third on Lindsey Talley's infield grounder. Landes scored on Layman's single, putting the Eagles on top, 6-5. Merhout walked to put two runners with no outs. The Beavers got the first out on a fielder's choice grounder, but Wharton followed with a two-run single to give the Eagles an 8-5 lead. Wharton scored when Carroll's fly ball was dropped for an error, making the score 9-5.

The Beavers plated three runs in their final at-bat to pull within one. A two-run double by McElroy made the score 9-8 but Louden retired the next batter on a fly ball to end the game.

Louden went the distance to pick up the win. She game up nine hits and eight runs, but only two of the runs were earned. Louden struck out five and did not walk a batter. 

Layman, Carroll and Landes each finished with two hits and Wharton drove in three runs to lead the offense.

The Eagles have a day off on Tuesday before returning to the diamond Wednesday for two more games.