Brevard, N.C. - The Tornados made it two in a row, sweeping the season series over the Virginia Intermont Lady Cobras by taking both games in the doubleheader on Sunday, 8-0 and 6-3. With the wins, Brevard improves to 4-0 on the season while Virginia Intermont falls to 2-6.
Game 1: Brevard 8, Virginia Intermont 0 (5)
Jennifer Gift (2-0) scattered five hits in five innings, recording her first shutout of the season. The junior pitcher from Durham, N.C. struck out two, while walking one in her second start against the Lady Cobras this season. Chelsi Mallory went 4-4 with a double, scoring two runs and driving in three to pace the offense in the first game of the doubleheader.
The Tornados jumped on Virginia Intermont starting pitcher Melissa Hudgins early, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first. Kristina Clayton reached base on a one-out walk, then stole second before scoring on a Mallory double laced to right center. After Katie Thornburg went down with a strikeout, Beth Brooker punched a single to left field, scoring Mallory. The third run of the inning came across when Jennifer Brown scooted a single though the right side of the infield, bringing home Brooker.
After Gift set Virginia Intermont down 1-2-3, Brevard continued to put the pressure on the Lady Cobras as Sarah Carlos opened the inning with single to left field. VI Coach Eric Senter moved his first baseman Brittany Lewis to the mound, but the Tornados continued to hit as Mallory placed a single down the right field line, driving in a run ad Beth Brooker hit a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Clayton to put BC up 5-0 after two.
Brevard added another run in the bottom of the fourth as Mallory scored from third when Brooker got caught in-between first and second trying to steal.
Meanwhile, Gift was cruising through the Lady Cobra lineup, getting Jessie Blevins and Hudgins to foul out to Carlos down the first baseline in the top of the fifth. The Lady Cobras were able to put a runner on base every inning, but stellar defense by the Tornados prevented a run from coming across the plate.
Katie Brown led off the bottom of the fifth with a single to left center. A sacrifice bunt by Carlos and a stolen base later, Brown scored on a double by Clayton down the left field line. The game ended on the next batter as Mallory singled through the right side of the infield, scoring Clayton, and ending the game due to the NAIA 8-run rule.
Game 2: Brevard 4, Virginia Intermont 2
Liz Houser (2-0) threw a five-hitter and gave up two unearned runs and Clayton went 3-4 with an RBI and a run scored to lead the Tornados to the sweep against the Lady Cobras.
The game was scoreless until the top of the third when Virginia Intermont pushed across a run. Megan Branson reached with one-out on a throwing error by Jennifer Brown, and then moved to third after a groundout to first. Blevins drove Branson in with a single to left for the first run of the ball game.
Brevard answered in the bottom half of the inning as a double by Thornburg over the left fielder’s head scored Mallory from first base. The next batter, Brooker, drove Thornburg home on a single down the right field line as the Tornados took the lead 2-1.
The Lady Cobras tied up the game in the top of the fourth as Lewis scored on a two-out single up the middle by Katie Bowles.
The Tornados took control of the game for good in the bottom half of the fourth as a single by Clayton through the right side scored Carlos from second base, and a double by Mallory to the wall in centerfield brought Clayton all the way around to put Brevard up 4-2 with three innings remaining.
Virginia Intermont put runners on in the fifth, sixth, and the seventh, but each time Houser shut the other team down without giving up a run. In the top of the seventh, Branson led off the inning with a single that dropped in front of Becca Curlee in center. However, Branson was doubled up as Curlee made a great running catch and throw on Kidd’s shallow fly ball, to give Houser two outs in the last frame. A Blevins grounder to Jennifer Brown at third ended the game as Brevard completed the sweep, 4-2.
The Tornados take to the field again on Friday, February 20th as they host North Greenville. First pitch for the doubleheader is set for 2 p.m. Virginia Intermont stays on the road as they take on Lees-McRae on Tuesday, February 17th at 2 p.m.