STAUNTON, Va. - The NC Wesleyan College Softball team completed their regular season on Saturday by capturing the USA South East Div. Regular Season Championship by sweeping Mary Baldwin University (VA) on the road. The Bishops used two 7-run innings to roll in game one 18-3 and then hung on to defeat the Squirrels 8-6 in game two.
Wesleyan finishes the season 12-4 in the conference and 20-11 overall to record their third 20-win season in the last 4 years while it is their first regular season title since 1996.
The Bishops will now be hosting Meredith College in the first round of the conference tournament next Friday and Saturday in a three-game series.
NCWC 18, MBU 3 (5 innings)
The sophomore duo of pitcher Beth Braswell and catcher Summer Phillips led the Bishops as they each hit two home runs apiece. Phillips finished with a season-high of six RBIs while Braswell drove in 4. Phillips hit her first 3-run homer in the first inning and extended Wesleyan's lead to 10-0 in the second inning as she capped off the first 7-run inning. Phillips now has 3 home runs on the season.
Braswell hit a solo home run in the 4th inning and a three-run shot in the 5th as she now has 8 home runs and 30 RBIs. Outfielders Hanna Ivester and Rylee Wheeler then finished off the 7-run 5th inning with RBI Singles.
Wesleyan had 8 different players record multiple-hit games while 10 different players scored runs in game one as part of the 21-hit attack. The Bishops also had five different players record three hits. They included Braswell, 3B Kayla Molivas, freshman DH Brianna Myers, 1B Bryona Knight and Wheeler.
Braswell pitched all five innings allowing just 3 hits and 3 runs with 3 walks and 8 strikeouts to improve to 12-4 on the year.
NCWC 8, MBU 6
The teams then played a more competitive game three as Wesleyan trailed 2-1 heading into the 5th where Braswell tied it up with a sacrifice fly. After MBU took the 3-2 lead heading to the 6th, the Bishops then broke out and scored 6 runs in the 6th on the strength of another Braswell three-run homer and a two-run single from SS Meredith Mize to take an 8-3 lead.
MBU (6-28, 1-15) would try to rally against game two senior starter Shelby Godwin scoring three runs in the 6th, but Braswell would come in as a reliever in the 6th and record the final 5 outs allowing just one hit while striking out two to pick up first save of the season. Godwin lasted 5 and 1/3 innings giving up 6 runs on 6 hits with 4 walks and 7 strikeouts to improve to 8-7.
Recording two-hit games were Mize, Molivas, and Wheeler.