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After an eight-game losing streak and amidst an appropriate backdrop, Senior Day concluded in a positive fashion for the Barton College softball team Saturday afternoon at a muddy Jeffries Field.
Following an opener where the Lady Bulldogs brought the winning run to the plate against Emmanuel College before a double play resulted in a 5-4 loss, Barton didn’t allow a two-run error to define the finale as junior right-hander Sierra Hearp tossed a complete-game without an earned run en route to a 4-2 victory.
The result left Barton at 16-27 overall and 5-11 in NCAA Division II Conference Carolinas, and with that, clinging to a lifeline for conference tournament qualification. Barton has two conference doubleheaders remaining, at home against archival University of Mount Olive on Friday and at Belmont Abbey on Saturday. Abbey currently sits one game ahead of Barton in the eighth and final spot at 6-10, with Limestone also in the mix at 5-9.
In the second game, Barton’s bats strung together three runs in the bottom of the second, using run-scoring singles from freshman Gracen Rogers and sophomore Taylor Freeman. Hannah Jones, one of six Barton seniors, was plunked by a Madison Hopper pitch with the bases loaded to make it 3-0.
Hearp encountered difficulty in the fifth after giving up a pair of singles. However, a would-be fly ball to left field to escape the inning unharmed was dropped, allowing two Emmanuel (18-23, 7-9 CC) runs to score.
Undeterred, Hearp aided her cause in the bottom of the fifth, lacing a single that scored Jones, who walked.
With the insurance run in hand, Hearp proceeded to the bottom of the seventh unscathed before hitting an Emmanuel batter with two outs. But Hearp ended an eight-pitch battle by getting Emmanuel’s Mary Baxter to pop up to shortstop Mikayla Rose to end it.
In the opener, Barton nearly erased a 5-0 deficit in the bottom of the second. Jones laced a two-run double to bring the Lady Bulldogs within the final score and reached on a one-out single in the bottom of the seventh. Yet Emmanuel’s Madison Abell, who pitched the distance in the opener, got senior Jessica Onega to ground into a 4-6-3 double play to end it.
Senior Makayla Meeks took the loss in the circle for Barton in the opener, allowing seven hits. She struck out two and walked four.
Score by innings:
Emmanuel 410 000 0 — 5
Barton 040 000 0 4
WP-Madison Abell (10-9) 7 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO. LP-Makayla Meeks (3-10) 7 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 2 SO.
LEADING HITTERS: Barton: Hannah Jones 2-3, 2B, RBI; Emmanuel: Noelle Perry 1-3, 2B, 2 RBI; Charli Shepheard 1-3, 2B.
Score by innings:
Emmanuel 000 020 0 — 2
Barton 030 010 0 — 4
WP-Sierra Hearp (6-4) 7 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO. LP-Madison Hopper (7-6) 5 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO.
LEADING HITTERS: Barton: Gracen Rogers 2-3, RBI; Emmanuel: Ryanne White 2-4.
Bulldogs salvage series finale vs. Fleet
As head coach Jim Chester noted in postgame comments Friday evening, the sun did come up for his Bulldogs following an error-laced opening loss to Erskine in Fleming Stadium.
But the light that shined upon the playing surface at Nixon Field bore witness to more mistakes during Saturday’s doubleheader.
The Bulldogs were able to render a pair of miscues irrelevant in a 9-3 victory that saw Barton avoid the sweep by pounding out 18 hits. But in the opener, Barton had its only error lead to a fourth-inning unearned run in a 4-2 game that was scheduled for seven innings.
Barton, which began the weekend in third place in the Conference Carolinas standings, departed in fourth with a 12-9 league mark and a 24-17 overall record. Erskine moved to 22-17 in all games, 11-8 in league play. The Flying Fleet now sit in third place.
In the finale, Barton broke open a close game with back-to-back three-run innings in the fifth and sixth. Freshman Jacob Marcos helped spearhead the fifth-inning surge with his RBI triple as part of a 4-for-5 showing. Junior Trevor Edior and senior Troy Maslowski each singled in runs during the spree, and the bats stayed alive in the sixth. Junior JoJo Allen had a run-scoring triple during a sixth inning that added an RBI double by senior catcher Juan Martinez.
With the extra run support in hand, junior left-hander Jakob Ryan turned in a complete-game showing in the finale. He scattered six hits and allowed just one earned run, striking out 13 Erskine batters and walking one.
Senior Hunter Pearre, who was 1 for 3 with a pair of walks, became the program’s all-time leader in bases on balls with his free pass in the fourth.
Starter Zach Carter was tagged with the loss for Erskine, working 4 2/3 innings and allowing 11 hits.
In the opener, Barton actually put the winning run on base after loading the bases in the bottom of the seventh with singles by Allen and Marcos and a walk to Maslowski. But with two outs, senior Gatlin Pate hit a 2-2 screamer to the warning track in center field to end the game.
Erskine’s Trevor Lesane drove in two runs, including the game winner in the sixth. Maslowski had a sacrifice fly for Barton to tie it in the fifth. That followed a leadoff solo homer by junior Brayden Olson, his third of the season.
Barton hosts Lenoir-Rhyne at Fleming Stadium on Tuesday.
Score by innings:
Erskine 001 102 0 - 4
Barton 000 020 0 - 2
WP-Alex Calvert (5-2) 7 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 SO. LP-Alex Hart (2-2) 6 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 6 SO.
LEADING HITTERS: Erskine: Cory Everett 2-4, Cole Warken 2-3, Trevor Lesane 2-3, 2 RBI; Barton: Jacob Marcos 3-4, 3B, JoJo Allen 2-3, 2B, Brayden Olson 1-3, HR, RBI.
Score by innings:
Erskine 000 201 000 - 3
Barton 111 033 00x - 9
WP-Jakob Ryan (5-3) 9 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 13 SO. LP-Zach Carter (5-4) 4 2/3 IP, 11 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 5 SO.
LEADING HITTERS: Barton: Jacob Marcos 4-5, 3B, RBI, JoJo Allen 3-5, 2B, RBI, Brayden Olson 3-4, 2 RBI, Trevor Edior 3-5, RBI, Troy Maslowski 2-4, 3B, RBI, Juan Martinez 2-4, 2B, RBI; Erskine: Trevor Lesane 1-3, 2B, RBI, Chase Crouch 1-3, 2B.
Bulldogs wrap up No. 1 seed and share of CC title
BANNER ELK — While the Barton men’s volleyball team will have to share the 2019 onference Carolinas regular-season title with King University, the Bulldogs will not share the pole position for the start of postseason tournament following a 25-19, 25-20, 25-19 victory over Lees-McRae on Saturday.
The win, Barton’s 15th in its last 16 matches, vaulted the Bulldogs to 21-4 overall and concluded their conference slate at 14-2. Barton will open the Conference Carolinas tournament at home against No. 8 Erskine on Saturday in Wilson Gym at a time to be determined. If the Bulldogs win, they will host the semifinals and championship rounds next week. Barton claimed the top seed over King via tiebreaker after the teams split their regular-season meetings. However, in the next tiebreaking criteria — head-to-head sets won — the Bulldogs claimed four of the seven sets played between the teams. This marks the third straight season the Bulldogs and Tornado have shared the regular-season crown.
Barton made it a mere formality against the Bobcats (2-21, 0-16 CC), outhitting Lees-McRae .347-.182. The Bulldogs attack produced 35 total kills, led by 12 from junior Angelos Mandilaris. Junior setter Ben Kasun ran the offense to the tune of 28 assists.
The latest Barton trailed was 13-10 in the third set, which was erased by a 10-0 surge from the Bulldogs. Sophomore Edwin Montaruli’s kill capped the run, which prompted a timeout from Lees-McRae.
Sophomore middle blocker Dimitrios Kyridis’ kill ended the match and cemented the three-set sweep.
The Bobcats, as the ninth-place team in the conference, concluded their season with the loss.
Barton belts Converse 15-9
SPARTANBURG, S.C. — The Barton women’s lacrosse team assured itself of a winning season in Conference Carolinas play with a 15-9 victory Saturday at Converse College. The win, the Lady Bulldogs’ fourth in their last five matches, boosted them to 9-5 overall and 6-3 in the league with one regular-season game remaining.
Sophomore attacker Kayli Ashenfelter extended her lead in goals scored with six, giving her 60 on the season for Barton. Sophomore attacker Angelina Scarpa, sophomore midfielder Brooke Lonergan and junior attacker Courtney Willis each netted three goals while Scarpa added four assists.
Sophomore goalie Katherine Mattena made six saves. Converse (5-7, 4-4 CC) outshot the Lady Bulldogs 25-17.
Barton will host Belmont Abbey on Saturday at Electrical Supply Company Field with a chance to earn a home match in the upcoming Conference Carolinas tournament.
TRACK AND FIELD
Clemons wins hammer throw at Phoenix Invite
ELON — Barton junior thrower Micah Clemons continued his outstanding spring by winning the men’s hammer throw Saturday at Elon University’s Phoenix Invitational. Clemons, who won his third straight win in the event, tossed the hammer 179 feet, 5 inches. He also placed eighth in the shot put at 47-4 while Bulldogs sophomore Chianti Ghee was ninth in the discus at 136-5.
Also placing in the top 10 for Barton were Greg Gibbs in the 800-meter run (10th, 1 minute, 59.26 seconds) and sophomore Nicolas Leek in the 1,500 run (sixth, 4:13.92).
The Barton women’s 4x100 relay team of Danyetta Ruffin, Taylynn Blunt, Takeitha Glaspie and Syaani Harris finished second in 47.89 seconds. Blunt also was second in the 100 hurdles in 14.96 seconds.
Freshman Abira Reddish took fourth in the 400 dash in 1:00.48 while Glaspie was seventh in the 100 dash (12.49) and 10th in the 200 (25.85). Harris was 10th in the 100 (12.57).
Lady Bulldogs 4th after 1st round of CC Championship
HARTWELL, Ga. — Barton tied with Belmont Abbey after the first round of the 72-hole Conference Carolinas Championship on Sunday at Cateechee Golf Club.
The Lady Bulldogs and Crusaders each posted a team score of 32-over-par 320 on the par-72, 5,831-yard layout, a stroke behind third-place Erskine. Limestone leads the 10-team field with a score of 299 while Converse is in second place with a 315.
Senior Sydney Turner led the Lady Bulldogs with a 6-over 78 that put her in a tie for ninth place overall. Other Barton scores were Shalie Williams (79, tied for 11th), Kelsey Woodall (81, T17th), Nikki Norlin (82, T25th) and Clare McMahon (84, T32nd).
The second round is Monday with the final round Tuesday.