LAURINBURG, N.C.—A sacrifice fly by sophomore catcher Lex Cowger (Indian Head, Md.) in the bottom of the eighth inning lifted the St. Andrews softball team to a 2-1 victory in the nightcap, earning a split of Saturday’s Conference Carolinas doubleheader after visiting Coker College won the first game 4-2. 

The Lady Knights (4-30 Overall, 1-11 Conf.) snapped a 25-game losing streak with their first league win while the Cobras (8-19, 3-9) ended a seven game skid with the game one victory.

Sophomore Kaitlin Harris (Acworth, Ga.) was the only SAPC player to record hits in both games. Coker senior Anna Oswald (Lexington, S.C.) led all players with three hits on the day while freshman Haley Gibson (Chesterfield, S.C.) hit safely in both games for the Cobras.

St. Andrews next hosts Anderson University in a Conference Carolinas twin bill on Sunday at 1 p.m., while Coker entertains Barton College in a league double dip at the same time Sunday.

GAME ONE: Coker 4, St. Andrews 2

St. Andrews jumped out to a two-run lead in the first but Coker rallied with a three-run third before doubling up the Knights, 4-2, in the opener. Junior starter Sydney Greenwalt (Edwardsville, Ill.) held SAPC to just one hit over the final six innings in the complete-game victory. Greenwalt (7-9) scattered four hits and had three strikeouts.

The Knights jumped on Greenwalt early, scoring two runs on three consecutive hits in the first. Harris started the two-out surge with a single and then scored on a double by senior Danyell Marquez (Riverside, Calif.) over the right fielder. Classmate Brianna Shurtleff (Colton, Calif.) followed with a single that plated Marquez.

Coker catapulted into the lead with three runs in the third that was highlighted by a pair of RBI-triples by sophomore Casey Plummer (Hartsville, S.C.) and junior Haleigh Rogers (Ward, S.C.).

Senior Julia Nelson-Abbott (Evans, Ga.) had two of the Cobras eight hits with a pair of singles. Nelson-Abbott’s second base knock in the sixth inning drove in an unearned insurance run for the visitors.

After five hitless frames, senior Daisy Mendez (Miami, Fla.) had the Knights fourth and final hit in the seventh.

Sophomore Ashley Disque (Prince Frederick, Md.) took the loss in the complete-game effort, allowing four runs (three earned) on eight hits. Disque (3-17) had a game-high four strikeouts.

GAME TWO: St. Andrews 2, Coker 1 (8 innings)

Mendez earned her first collegiate win after not allowing an earned run over eight strong innings, keeping the hosts in the game until Cowger could win the contest for St. Andrews, 2-1, with her sacrifice fly in extra innings. Mendez (1-7) fanned a season-high five batters and only allowed three singles in the complete-game.

SAPC once again took a quick lead, this time senior Nicole Bailey (Lumberton, N.C.) led off the bottom of the first with a single and later scored on a throwing error.

After five scoreless innings, Coker ended Mendez’ shutout bid with an unearned run in the sixth. Freshman Jaclin Poole (Clover, S.C.) scored the game-tying run from first base after a Owsald single got by the left fielder and went to the fence.

The Cobras were in great position to take the lead in the top of the eighth after a sacrifice bunt by Rogers moved a pair of Cobras into scoring position with one out but Mendez  got out of the jam with her fifth strikeout and a groundout.

In the home half of the eighth, St. Andrews scored the international tie-breaker runner that starts every extra inning on second base in textbook fashion to end the game. Bailey moved freshman pinch runner Kendra Norton (Marshall, N.C.) over to third base with a perfectly placed bunt single before Cowger ripped a fly ball deep enough into right field that allowed the speedy Norton to tag up and score before the throw reached the catcher.

Bailey had two of the Knights six hits with a pair of singles while Oswald had two of the Cobras three hits.

Sophomore Becky Dillon (West Palm Beach, Fla.) was charged with the loss, going the distance for Coker, even though she did not allow an earned run. Dillon (1-5) recorded a pair of K’s.

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