Bryan drops opening games to Martin Methodist 6-1 and 7-6
PULASKI, Tenn. – The rowdy Red Hawks of Martin Methodist hosted the Bryan College Lions softball team on Thursday for 2018 opening day action and soared away with two wins to improve to 2-0 and dropping the visiting Lions to 0-2. After working out the kinks of the first game of the year where Martin Methodist outhit Bryan 11-5 and committed no errors compared to the Lion’s four mishaps and ended 6-1 in favor of the home team, Bryan eventually settled in managed to grab a late lead in game two before Martin Methodist scrambled for the tying and then go-ahead run to win 7-6 in the bottom of the seventh.
The Lion’s lone run in the first contest came in the top of the sixth when Heidi Smith used one swing of the bat to obliterate a ball and send it towering over the left field fence. Before that, the RedHawks rallied for three runs in the second and then posted one run in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings that proved good enough for the 6-1 win.
Courtney Petty handled the entire workload in the circle as she hurled all six frames and surrendered 11 hits, six runs with only three earned, walked one, and struck out two.
Smith, Sydney Olander, Courtney Bonaiuto, Kayla Hayes, and Lindsey Dunn all finished with one hit apiece. The only other extra-base hit besides Smith’s homerun was a double produced by Hayes.
A pair of single tallied Martin Methodist in the bottom of the first in game two helped them to a 1-0 lead that lasted until the top of the third when the Lions pieced together two runs. Olander maintained composure as a pitch was thrown her direction and hit her, allowing her a pass to first base. She went on to steal second and then used her speed to round third and come home off an RBI single by Dunn. Smith connected for a single that resulted in Dunn scoring, putting the Lions ahead 2-1.
The RedHawks evened the score at 2’s with a run in the bottom of the fourth, but the Lions countered in the top of the fifth to regain the lead. Allison Walker led off for Bryan and was hit by a pitch. She took second on a ground out and then made her way home when Olander ripped a single to first and Martin Methodist failed to make a play because of a wild throw.
Four hits later in the bottom of the fifth aided the RedHawks in their largest inning of the evening as they compiled a trio of runs. Once again, the Lions responded and tied the game when Smith scored on Marissa Murray’s ground out and Hannah O’Shields cranked an RBI double to center that brought Petty in for the score.
Leslie Beecham applied the pressure in the seventh after Bryan held Martin Methodist to a scoreless sixth frame. She sent a pitch sailing to center for the double before advancing to third on a wild pitch. Smith managed to reach base on a misplayed grounder, and Beecham took advantage of the error to give the Lions a 6-5 lead. The RedHawks were forced to answer in the bottom of the seventh, and that’s just what they did. The leadoff batter doubled to left, the next batter singled through the hole up the middle, another single brought in the tying run, and then a walk trailed by their third single of the frame allowed Martin Methodist to claim the 7-6 victory.
Dunn dealt six innings while giving up 13 hits, seven runs with two that were unearned, two walks, and a pair of K’s. A trio of Lions ended with a multi-hit performance as Olander, Dunn, and Smith had two hits, respectively. O’Shields doubled for her lone hit, and so did Beecham as she ended with one hit as well.
Up next for Bryan is a trip to the Georgia Gwinnett College Invitational, which will be hosted by the 7th-ranked Grizzlies of Georgia Gwinnett on Feb. 16-17 in Lawrenceville, Ga. The Lions are set to take on the top-ranked Grizzlies on Friday at 10am followed by a meeting with Cincinnati Christian University (Ohio) later that day at 4pm. On Saturday, Bryan begins with a matchup versus Cincinnati Christian at 12pm before facing off with West Virginia Institute of Technology at 2pm.