03/12/07 — Trojan softball finishes 3-2 at FMU Invitational

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Trojan softball finishes 3-2 at FMU Invitational

By MOC Sports Information
Published in Sports on March 12, 2007 2:57 PM

FLORENCE, S.C. -- With an early start to daylight-saving time and an early game time, the Mount Olive softball team found itself four runs down to the 11th ranked team in the nation. But the Trojans would eventually get the wake-up call they needed.

Colleen Thomas broke a 4-4 tie with a leadoff home run in the fifth and Kensie Cobb provided what proved to be the game-winner with a grand slam home run as Mount Olive overcame a four-run deficit, then withstood a last-inning rally to defeat nationally 11th-ranked Georgia College and State 9-7 in the Patriot Softball Invite Sunday.

The Trojans posted a 3-2 record in the tournament, hosted by Francis Marion University. Sunday's first pitch was 9 a.m., which felt like an 8 a.m. start, thanks to the change to daylight-saving time.

Mount Olive (18-7) trailed 4-0 after three innings, but tied the game with a two-out, four-run rally in the top of the fourth. Jenny Jackson singled and the Trojans loaded the bases on walks to Morgan Whaley and Jamie Pruitt. Cobb singled home the first two runs and advanced to second on the throw. Kat Cahoon followed with a two-run single to knot the game 4-4.

Thomas, who hit her first collegiate home run less than two weeks ago, led off the fifth with her second home run of the season to give the Trojans a 5-4 lead.

The lead stayed at a run until the seventh when Mount Olive put together another two-out rally. Jackson walked, Whaley was hit by a pitch and Bailey hit a pinch-hit single to load the bases. Cobb then connected on her first collegiate home run, driving a pitch over the left field fence to give the Trojans a 9-4 lead.

Georgia College and State rallied for three runs in the bottom of the seventh, two coming off a two-out home run. But the Trojans closed out the win on a ground out to short.

Cobb finished with a career-high six runs batted in.

Krystal Bourne (5-0) pitched the final five innings, shutting out the Bobcats until the seventh inning. Bourne struck out the side in her first inning of work and finished with six strikeouts.

Mount Olive opened tournament play Friday with a 1-0 loss to Augusta State. Jackson (4-3) struck out seven and tossed a four-hitter, but a fourth-inning home run was the difference.

The Trojans picked up two wins Saturday, defeating West Virginia State 9-3 and Bluefield State 6-2. Against West Virginia State, Mount Olive trailed 2-0 after one inning, but Pruitt's RBI single in the top of the second got the Trojans on the scoreboard.

After the first two Trojan batters were retired in the top of the third, Tiffanie Pittman and Erin Wilson kept the inning alive with consecutive singles. Pittman scored the tying run when Courtney Wallace reached on an error and Jackson drove in two more runs with a double to give Mount Olive a 4-2 lead.

West Virginia State pulled within a run in the bottom of the third, but Mount Olive broke the game open with a five-run seventh inning.

After Wilson led off with a single and Wallace reached on an error, Jackson belted a three-run homer, her team-high fifth of the season. Pruitt and Melissa Bright added RBI singles.

Ashley Raynor (3-2) pitched four scoreless innings in relief for the win, allowing only two hits.

Against Bluefield State, Wallace's RBI double and Cobb's RBI single highlighted a three-run first inning as the Trojans overcame an early 1-0 deficit. Wilson's RBI single keyed a two-run second inning and the Trojans added a run in the third when Pruitt scored on an error.

Shauna Cowdrey (6-2) won for the fifth time in as many decisions, but saw her scoreless streak end at 24 innings. Christine Ermer pitched two scoreless innings in relief.

The Trojans concluded play Sunday with a 6-1 loss to Lenoir-Rhyne, which was ranked No. 18 in the Division II preseason poll. Two Trojan errors led to five unearned runs as Lenoir-Rhyne scored all of its runs in the first inning.

Jackson pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings of relief and Ermer retired the side in order in the sixth.

Mount Olive, which opened the week competing in the Smash Hit Tournament at Savannah, Ga., posted a 6-3 record in its nine games during the week. Two of the losses were to Lenoir-Rhyne.

Mount Olive is off until Thursday when the Trojans travel to Laurinburg to take on St. Andrews in a Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference doubleheader. Game time is 2 p.m.