03/09/06 — MOC roundup

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Published in Sports on March 9, 2006 2:27 PM

SAVANNAH, Ga. -- Shauna Cowdrey recorded nine strikeouts and tossed a two-hit shutout as Mount Olive concluded play on a winning note with a 7-0 victory over Swarthmore (Pa.) University in the "Smash Hit Softball Tournament."

The Trojans overcame an opening-game loss to post a 3-1 record at the tournament.

After splitting its two games Tuesday, Mount Olive opened play Wednesday with a 12-4 win over Winston-Salem State as Karen Thornton's bases-loaded double and Erin Wilson's first collegiate home run highlighted a five-run fifth inning to break open a close game.

In Tuesday's play, RBI singles by Wilson and Melissa Bright helped stake the Trojans to an early three-run lead, but Tampa (Fla.) rallied for single runs in four consecutive innings to defeat Mount Olive 4-3. The Trojans put two runners on base with two outs in the top of the seventh inning, but a strikeout ended the rally.

Mount Olive finished the first day of action with a 14-3 win over Winston-Salem State as the Trojans struck for nine runs in the first inning. The Trojans sent 13 batters to the plate as Wilson singled home two runs and Bright had an RBI double.

Bailey Harrell added her second home run of the season in the third inning.

The Smash Hit Tournament is an on-going 16-day tournament hosted by Savannah College of Art and Design. It features NCAA II, NCAA III and NAIA teams from 20 different states, as far north as Massachusetts and as far west as California.

Mount Olive improves to 13-9 as the team prepares for its third tournament in eight days. The Trojans travel to Florence, S.C., Friday to begin competition in the Francis Marion University Tournament.

Trojan men No. 25

MOUNT OLIVE -- Mount Olive remained at No. 25 for the second week in a row in this week's NABC Division II Top 25 -- the final poll before the start of the 2006 NCAA Division II regionals.

The Trojans, who appeared in each of the first eight polls this season, have spent four weeks in the top 10 this season and have been ranked as high as No. 6.

Mount Olive (24-6) received a bid to the NCAA II Tournament for the third consecutive year and will be the No. 5 seed in the East Regional, which takes place at Wilson and is hosted by Barton.

Delta State (Miss.) again received all eight first-place votes to take the No. 1 spot for the second consecutive week. St. Joseph's (Ind.) and Virginia Union hold at Nos. 2 and 3, respectively. Grand Valley State (Mich.) and Winona State (Minn.) round out the top five.

Mount Olive is one of two CVAC schools ranked in the top 25, joining No. 9 Barton. Mount Olive and Barton are among five East Region teams in the poll, the most of any of the eight regions. The two teams join No. 18 Shippensburg (Pa.), No. 19 Alderson-Broaddus (W. Va.) and No. 22 West Virginia State.

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