BURLINGTON, N.C. – In the first elimination game of the tournament, seventh seeded Barton College turned around to face fifth seeded Erskine College on Friday in the Conference Carolinas Tournament. Barton threatened in nearly every inning, but the Flying Fleet pitching staff didn’t let many runs cross the play as they stayed alive with the 4-2 win.
The Bulldogs (17-22-1) got on the board early as Megan Kelly started the game with a single up the middle before she stole second. On the play, the throw went into center field, allowing Kelly to score and give Barton a 1-0 advantage. Barton proceeded to put two runners on with no outs, but Erskine’s pitcher, Kaylin White induced a flyout and a pair of groundouts to get out of the inning.
Erskine (18-22) got on the board with an unearned run in the second, but left the bases loaded. Nevertheless, the Flying Fleet offense erupted for three runs in the third inning. Lydia Trexler started the frame with a walk before stealing second. She then scored on an Ashlyn Hicks single up the middle before Christine Long dealt the big blow. She ripped her fourth home run, a two-run shot over the left field fence to give Erskine a 4-1 lead after three innings.
Barton threatened in each of the following innings, but couldn’t start a rally before there were two outs in each frame. The Bulldogs left two runners in each the fourth and sixth innings along with stranding one in the fifth. On defensive side, relief pitcher Liz White kept the Flying Fleet off balance, only allowing on base runner, on a walk, over the final three frames to keep the Bulldogs within striking range.
Barton’s leadoff hitter, Kelly tried to ignite the Bulldog offense with a leadoff infield single to start the seventh inning. Kendra Kassonie followed with another infield single to put two runners on before Erskine got the first out of the frame. After single by Betsy Brasewll that scored Kelly to cut the Bulldog deficit to 4-2, Erskine went to the bullpen. Katherine Mulzer came in for the Flying Fleet and immediately got a groundout before ending the game with a strikeout to keep Erskine alive with her fourth save of the season.
With the win, Erskine stays alive in the Conference Carolinas Tournament and eliminates Barton in the process. The Flying Fleet will face the loser over the King University- Pfeiffer University game. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.
For Erskine, Kaylin White earned the win, tossing six and one-thirds innings, allowing two runs while scattering 11 hits and striking out three. Long paced the offense going 1-for-2 with two runs scored and two runs batted in.