CENTRAL, S.C. — After squandering an 8-2 lead, the Barton College softball team pushed across a run in the ninth or second extra inning to escape with a 12-11 victory in the second game and complete a sweep of an NCAA Division II Conference Carolinas doubleheader against Southern Wesleyan on Friday.
Senior catcher Taylor Bowden scored from second base on a bases-loaded grounder from freshman Taylor Martin after Megan Kelly was forced out at home on the same play.
The Lady Bulldogs of first-year head coach Junior Bailey claimed the opener, 7-2.
The sweep enabled Barton to even its conference record at 3-3 and boost its overall mark to 15-16. Southern Wesleyan emerged 0-4 in conference outings and 4-18 in all games.
The Lady Bulldogs outhit Southern Wesleyan 16-12 in the second game and erased a 2-0 deficit with eight runs in the top of the second inning. Barton added a run in the fourth and two in the fifth.
However, Southern Wesleyan pecked away with two runs in the second, one in the third, three in the fourth, two in the fifth and forced the two extra innings with a run in the bottom of the seventh.
Freshman Sierra Hearp and Martin each rapped three hits for Barton. Each doubled and Martin drove in three runs. Bowden and junior second baseman Brittany Jacobs each collected two hits. Bowden scored three runs.
Barton’s starting lineup listed Hearp as the starting pitcher, but sophomore Makayla Meeks labored all nine innings in evening her record at 3-3. Meeks allowed 10 earned runs and seven walks while striking out three.
Center fielder Sara Sweatt slammed three hits, including a triple, for Southern Wesleyan. Catcher Alex Oliver and designated hitter Lexi Thompson each managed two hits.
In the opener, sophomore Barton pitcher Hannah Jones tossed a complete game in her second straight outing. Jones (6-4) stopped Southern Wesleyan on five hits and one earned run. She issued just one walk and struck out a pair.
The Lady Bulldogs supported Jones with an eight-hit offensive and a defense that committed but one error.
Barton plated two runs in each of the first, second and fourth innings.
Jacobs and Martin collected first-inning RBIs on a sacrifice fly and sacrifice bunt, respectively. Kelly’s double and Bowden’s single launched the spree. Bowden and Hearp drew bases-loaded walks in the second. Hearp drilled a two-run double in the fourth.
Bowden batted 3 for 3 with three runs scored. Hearp drove in three runs and Martin a pair.
Score by innings:
Barton 220 201 0 — 7
S. Wesleyan 110 000 0 — 2
WP-Hannah Jones (6-4) 7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO. LP-Josie Edward (2-5) 7 IP, H 8, 7 R, 7 ER, 4 BB, 4 SO.
LEADING HITTERS — Barton: Taylor Bowden 3-3, 3 R; Sierra Hearp 1-1, 2B, 3 RBI; Brittany Jacobs 1-2, 2B, RBI, Sydney Speight 1-1 Megan Kelly 1-4, 2R, 2B; Southern Wesleyan: Sara Sweatt 2-3, RBI; Kali Berriga 2-3.