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BRISTOL, Tenn. — The Barton College softball team now stares at a three-game losing streak after dropping both ends of a Conference Carolinas doubleheader at King University on Monday.
After a 9-1, five-inning defeat in the opening game, the Lady Bulldogs (18-22, 4-10 CC) were besieged by errors in the second contest. All the runs Barton allowed in a 3-2 loss were of the unearned variety.
Barton struggled offensively, producing just four hits in each game. King, which moved to 23-15 in all games and 10-4 in conference play, combined for 17 hits over the two-game span.
The Lady Bulldogs seized a 2-0 lead in the top of the fifth of game one. After Taylor Freeman singled and Makayla Meeks walked, Sierra Hearp smashed a two-run double to the gap in left center.
However, the Tornado responded with its three runs in the third. Consecutive singles against Meeks led to a passed ball to put two runners in scoring position. With two outs, Barton looked as if it would strand both runners. But the pop-up was dropped at shortstop, allowing both unearned runs to score.
Jenna Burnett followed with a single that plated Kay Brokering for the go-ahead — and third unearned run.
Meeks took the loss for Barton, allowing seven hits. She struck out one without a walk. Raven Allender worked just one-third of an inning to get the win in relief, with Rachel Farmer throwing the final two innings to get her fourth save.
Taylor Freeman was 2 for 2 with a run scored for Barton, while freshman Jordan Blake was 1 for 3.
In the opening contest, shaky Barton defense surfaced in the third, with a dropped fly ball in centerfield leading to three King runs. Candace Maness, who doubled, scored on the drop. Brokering, who added five RBIs, doubled home Hannah Riddle.
Riddle’s laced a two-run triple in the fifth to end the game via the eight-run rule.
Barton scored its lone run in the fourth after Brittany Jacobs tripled off the fence in left center and scored on Hayley Grizzle’s sacrifice fly.
Hannah Jones took the loss for Barton in the opener, lasting three innings and allowing five hits. Leslie Odom pitched the distance for King, allowing four hits. She struck out five and walked one.
Barton returns to Jeffries Field on Friday to host North Greenville for a doubleheader. Saturday brings Southern Wesleyan University to town, a two-game set which could prove pivotal for the eighth and final spot in the Conference Carolinas tournament.
Score by innings:
Barton 000 10 — 1
King 103 32 — 9
WP-Leslie Odom (12-4) 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO. LP-Hannah Jones (8-8) 3 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO.
LEADING HITTERS — Barton: Taylor Martin 2-2, Brittany Jacobs 1-1, 3B, R, Makayla Meeks 1-2; King: Kay Brokering 2-3, 2 2B, 5 RBI, Hannah Riddle 2-2, 2 3B, 2 RBI, 3 R, Katelyn Davidson 2-3, Candace Maness 2-2, 2B, 2 R.
Score by innings:
Barton 000 020 0 — 2
King 000 030 0 — 3
WP-Raven Allender (3-1) 1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO. LP-Makayla Meeks (1-3) 6 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO. S-Rachel Farmer (4) 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO.
LEADING HITTERS — Barton: Taylor Freeman 2-2, R, Jordan Blake 1-3, Sierra Hearp 1-2, 2B, 2 RBI; King: Jenna Burnett 2-3, RBI, Candace Maness 2-3, R.