There's No Place Like Home - Trojans Sweep King In Home Opener

There's No Place Like Home - Trojans Sweep King In Home Opener

Freshman Madison Johnston tossed her first collegiate shutout and Jennifer Jones accounted for all of the game's runs in the first inning as Mount Olive completed a doubleheader sweep and extended its winning streak to five with a 3-0 victory over King in game two of a Conference Carolinas softball doubleheader Saturday at Nancy Chapman Cassell Field. The twinbill was the Trojans' 2013 home opener after playing its first 20 games on the road.

Mount Olive (16-6 overall, 5-1 Conference Carolinas) took the opener 4-1 as Carly White recorded her second consecutive complete game victory in as many starts this week. Katie Moore drove in a pair of runs for the Trojans.

The losses were the first in conference play this season for King, which loaded the bases and had the go-ahead run at the plate in the top of the seventh inning of both games.

After Beth Overman singled and Moore walked in the bottom of the first inning of game two, Jones gave Johnston all the run support she needed with a drive to left-center that hit the top of the fence for a two-run double. After advancing to third on Kelsey Akers' infield single, Jones scored on a wild pitch to extend Mount Olive's lead to 3-0.

Johnston (3-1) retired the first five batters she faced, including a strikeout looking to the first batter of the game, before allowing a two-out double to Macy Shupe in the top of the third. Johnston overcame two-out singles in the third and fourth innings before retiring the side in order in each of the next two innings. She threw only six pitches in the fifth.

King (9-18, 4-2) loaded the bases with one out in the top of the seventh as Cassie Ringstaff and Shupe both singled and Tori McComas reached on an infield error. Johnston got her second strikeout of the game for the second out and closed out the shutout with a groundout to Moore at second.

In the opener, White (7-2) held King scoreless on one hit through five innings and was one out away from her second consecutive shutout. King struck for a pair of singles in the sixth, then Allie Spell, McComas and Christina Melcher all singled in the seventh as the Tornado had the bases loaded with two outs. A hit batsman spoiled the shutout bid, but White settled for the complete game win as Moore caught a pop up at second for the final out.

Mount Olive capitalized on a King miscue for the game's first run as Overman scored from second on a dropped infield pop fly with two outs in the bottom of the third. The Trojans scored two more in the fourth as Lauren McGrath scored on Danielle Mitchell's two-out slap double to left and Moore drove in Mitchell with a single.

The Trojans added another insurance run in the bottom of the sixth as Savannah Becker led off the inning with a single through the left side and advanced to second on Mitchell's sacrifice. With first base open, the Tornado pitched around Overman, who had two singles and a walk in three plate appearances. Moore followed with a single up the middle to plate Becker and give the Trojans a 4-0 lead.

Mount Olive, which had played eight of its first 20 games in three tournaments and its remaining games as the visiting team, had been scheduled to play host to Mars Hill February 23 for its home opener. But the doubleheader was rained out and was unable to be rescheduled.

Mount Olive takes to the road again Monday at noon as the Trojans travel to Tigerville, S.C., to take on defending conference champion North Greenville in a Conference Carolinas doubleheader. The Trojans finish the week with three consecutive home dates: Wednesday against Millersville, Saturday against Limestone and Sunday against Lees-McRae.