The 2nd-ranked Spring Hill College softball team opened the 2014 Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) schedule by winning both halves of a doubleheader over Blue Mountain College on Wednesday afternoon at Murray Field by the scores of 5-4 and 8-4.
Spring Hill jumped out to a 4-0 lead after three innings and held off a 7th-inning rally by the Toppers (7-5, 0-3 SSAC) to win 5-4 in the opening contest. In the second game, SHC used a five-run 3rd inning to take a 5-1 lead and then withstood two BMC home runs to win 8-4.
Caroline Sagrera (3-1) was a complete-game winner in the first game with six hits allowed, five walks and 10 strikeouts. Sagrera collected her first save of the year in the second game going two innings of relief of Sarah Bolotte (3-1) with no hits, a walk and three strikeouts. Bolotte went five innings for the win with three hits, a walk and three strikeouts.
At the plate for the Badgers, freshman third baseman Lea Kittrell had three hits with four RBI on the day while junior centerfielder Taylor Webre collected three hits including two doubles in the first game along with two runs driven in on the day. Senior second baseman Raleigh Downs had a two-RBI single that began the Badger 3rd-inning rally in second game as junior first baseman Elise deBruler had a two-run double that put SHC on top 2-0 in the 1st inning of the first game.
For BMC, Brooke Denton fell to 3-4 on the year with a loss in the opener with just 2.2 innings of work and surrendering five hits with four walks and no strikeouts. Jessalyn Brown (4-1) took her first loss of the year in 2.2 innings during the second game with six hits, two walks and a strikeout. Shortstop Whitney Hardwick enjoyed a 5-for-6 day with three RBI a double and a homerun for the Toppers. Third baseman Nicki Whitten smashed a three-run homer in the 4th inning of Game 2 that brought the Toppers to within a 5-4 margin, but SHC answered with two runs in the 5th inning off a two-RBI single by Kittrell.
Spring Hill (6-2, 2-0 SSAC) will next play at the Gulf Coast Invitational in Gulf Shores beginning at 11 a.m. on Friday versus the Columbia College (Mo.) Cougars (5-2).