The Winthrop softball team split its games Saturday on the second day of the Cougar Classic as the Eagles received two solid pitching performances in a 1-0 loss to Pittsburgh in eight innings and a 6-2 win over Appalachian State.
Winthrop improved to 5-8 on the season. It finishes play at the Cougar Classic on Sunday at 11 a.m. against Massachusetts. Pittsburgh improved to 12-1 while Appalachian State fell to 4-5.
Pitchers Sara Allen and Dallas King pitched complete games for the Eagles, who had just three complete games through the first 11 games heading into the day.
“The game against Pittsburgh was a knock-down, drag out,” said Eagles coach Mark Cooke. “Dallas threw a very good game against Pittsburgh and Sara had a no-hitter through six innings against Appalachian State. I’m pretty happy with our performance today and excited to get a win that we needed.”
Allen lost her no-hit bid in the seventh inning as the Mountaineers manufactured two runs, but she improved to 4-3 on the year by allowing two runs on two hits with three walks and two strikeouts in seven innings.
The Eagles took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first, making the Mountaineers pay for their mistakes. Sophomore Paige Haley led off the inning with a double to right center and moved to third on a Zharne Glover groundout. Sophomore Maddie Antone reached on an error by left fielder Dani Heichen as Haley scored on the play and Antone reached second. Kelsey Ritter followed with a single to short and then stole second. In an attempt to nail Ritter at second, catcher Sarah Warnock threw the ball away, which allowed Antone to score.
Leah Young had an RBI ground-out to make it 3-0 in the third, and then in the fifth the Eagles added three more runs. Haley led off the inning with a triple and scored on a Glover single through the left side. Glover stole second and Antone was hit by a pitch, followed by a Ritter walk to load the bases. Allen drew a walk for her ninth RBI of the season. Antone later scored in the inning as Jessica Roth reached on an error by the shortstop.
In the first game of the day, King tossed eight complete innings, allowing one unearned run on six hits with a walk and a strikeout but suffered the loss to fall to 0-3 this season. King battled Jenna Modic inning by inning until the game went into extra innings bringing the international tie-breaker rule into play. Modic threw a complete game, allowing just two hits with two walks and six strikeouts to improve to 2-0 on the year.
The Panthers’ runner who was placed on second to start the eighth inning moved to third when Kathryn Duran singled to the pitcher and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Shelby Pickett. Winthrop’s K.J. Uyeno was placed on second in the bottom of the eighth but the Eagles could not get a hit.
Antone finished the day 0-for-5 with two runs and an RBI. She was hit three times and her hitting streak came to an end at 11 games. Haley finished the day with three hits, two for extra bases, while Glover also had two hits.