For the second time in as many years, the Maryville College advance to the USA South Athletic Conference Tournament quarterfinals with a sweep of Wesleyan College (Ga.) on Friday.
The Scots barely beat the rain, while taking the pair of games, 8-0 and 14-2. Both games were run-rule contests in the sixth inning.
Maryville College will earn a buy for the second round, as they advance directly to the quarterfinal round. The Scots will play the winner of No. 4 Western Division Covenant College and No. 2 Eastern Division Meredith College.
First pitch on Friday, April 13, is set for 2 p.m. Three-straight wins would earn MC its first USA South Softball Tournament title.
The Scots need only two wins to tie the school record for wins in a season set in 2003. Their 26-11 record ranks tied as the third-most victories in school history, as they surpassed 2015-16's 25-win mark.
Maryville recorded a 28-10 mark in 2003.
GAME ONE: Maryville College 8, Wesleyan College (Ga.) 0 (6 innings)
Maryville followed the strong outing from Rookie Pitcher of the Year Katlyn Smith, as the freshman tallied 13 strikeouts on the way to her 12th win.
Smith threw nine-straight strikeouts in the win, as she gave up only three hits and three walks to earn the shutout victory. She faced 23 batters – striking out half – while pitching 113 pitches.
Three pitches into the bottom of the first inning, Brewer put the Scots on the board. The Player of the Year lofted a solo shot to center for the first run of the game. Christina White singled to left, before an error and a stolen base for Essence Strambler put a pair in scoring position. Alexus Murray blooped a double to right, scoring both for a 3-0 MC lead.
The Scots would add a pair more in the bottom of the third. Strambler singled before, and Rachel Taylor drew a walk to put a pair of runners on. Taylor Campbell – the USA South Rookie of the Year – laced an RBI double to right to score Strambler. Taylor would score on Alexus Murray's RBI single to right for a 5-0 MC lead.
Maryville would earn the win in the bottom of the sixth, after Murray reached on an error. Torres would promptly blast a two-run shot down the left-field line to score both for a 7-0 advantage. A pair of singles by Sarah Gordon and Ashton Hayden put runners on, before Brewer's RBI single to right scored pinch runner Gabrielle Rathmell for the 8-0 win in six innings.
Maryville was led by Brewer who went 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI and a run scored, as Murray went 2-for-3 with three RBI and a run. Gordon was 2-for-3, as Torres went 1-for-3 with a run and two RBI.
GAME TWO: Maryville College 14, Wesleyan College (Ga.) 2 (6 innings)
During game two, eight different Scots would record multi-hit afternoons en route to a 14-2 win over the Wolves in earning the sweep.
Maryville College struck first, hanging four in the opening inning. Brewer and White each moved into scoring position with a single, a walk and a pair of stolen bases. A wild pitch scored Brewer, before Strambler's RBI single to left-center scored White. A single and an error loaded the bases, before a fielder's choice for Torres scored Strambler. Campbell would score on a wild pitch to give MC a 4-0 lead.
Wesleyan College would load the bases with two outs in the bottom of the third with a pair of singles and a hit-by-pitch. Victoria Clower's RBI single to short plated Savanna Boyette from third for the Wolves' first run of the series. Alana Walker followed suit with an RBI single up the middle to score Hannah Allen for a 4-2 score.
The Scots would retaliate in the top of the fourth. Brewer walked, before White was able to reach on an error. Strambler laced a two-RBI double to center to score both, before Campbell would trade places with her on an RBI double of her own. Two wild pitches later, Campbell would score for an 8-2 game.
MC would extend their lead to seven in the top of the fifth. White singled through the left side, before taking second on a fly out. Taylor plated her with an RBI single through the right side for a 9-2 advantage.
The Scots added five runs in the top of the sixth on six hits to take a commanding 14-2 lead. A Murray double and a Torres Single put runners on the corners, before Gordon's RBI groundout score Murray. Hayden singled through the left side – again putting runners on the corners – before Brewer would left an RBI single to left to score Torres. White would add a pair of RBI with a single through the right side to plate Brewer and Hayden, before Taylor's single up the middle score White from third for the win.
Maryville (26-11) was led by White's 3-for-4 day, as she added four runs and a pair of RBI. Strambler was 3-for-5 with three RBI and a pair of runs, while Brewer scored three runs and an RBI with a 2-for-4 effort. Taylor, Campbell, Murray, Torres and Hayden each had two-hit days to round out the 18-hit attack, as Taylor had a pair of RBI. Campbell added a pair of runs and an RBI, as both Hayden and Murray scored a run. Torres had a run and an RBI, as Gordon added an RBI.
Wesleyan College (10-26) saw three different players in Boyette, Allen and Sparrow record two-hit afternoons.