Joseph Marvin: Assistant Sports Information Director
HERTFORD, N.C. – Behind a stellar five-inning shutout by sophomore pitcher Breana Allen, the Brevard College Tornados Softball team (1-0) opened its 2019 season with a controlling 9-0 victory over NCAA DII opponent Elizabeth City State University (0-3) on a brisk, cold day on the coast of North Carolina.
The contest, originally slated for a doubleheader at 2 & 4 p.m. on the campus of Elizabeth City State University, had to be pushed up to 12:30 p.m. and played at Perquimans High School, located in Hertford, N.C. approximately one hour west of ECSU's campus. As a result, the back-end of the doubleheader was canceled.
Brevard College overcame these circumstances for a resounding 9-0 victory to open its season.
Allen pitched five innings of one-hit ball, striking out two ECSU Vikings while allowing no walks. The sophomore RHP from Roanoke Rapids, N.C. made 21 appearances last season with 15 starts, including five complete games. Allen finished 2018 4-6 with a 4.20 ERA, striking out 23 batters.
The Tornados offense kicked off 2019 by plating nine runs on six hits, taking advantage of ECSU defensive miscues. Sara Lallier went 1-for-3 at the plate, scoring twice and driving in a run on a sac fly. Lallier was followed by big games from newcomers Lauren Dowell and Marissa Henson. Dowell went 2-for-4 in her collegiate debut, scoring two runs. Henson, a sophomore transfer from Rosman, N.C., went 2-for-3 with a big two-RBI double in her BC debut.
Emily White, who led the Tornados in hits (32), RBI's (20) and home runs (2) in 2018, went 1-for-4 with a two-RBI single. Mari Cook drove in a run in her Tornado debut, while Olivia Paulden recorded two RBI's.
The Tornados started their offensive output in the top of the first inning. After back-to-back batters reached to start the frame, two groundouts and a walk left the bases loaded with two outs. Henson stepped up and drilled a two-RBI single to left field, giving the Tornados and Allen an early 2-0 lead to work with. Allen retired the Vikings 1-2-3 in the bottom half of the frame.
BC tacked on two more runs to its lead in the top of the second inning when White hit a two-RBI single to center field, plating Lallier and Allen. The Tornados took advantage of two ECSU errors to extend their lead to 6-0. Allen retired the Vikings in order once again in both the second and third innings, working through ECSU's lineup once without allowing a hit.
The Vikings threatened offensively in the home half of the fourth inning after a one-out single and an error left runners on second and third, but two straight groundouts ended the threat.
Brevard padded its advantage when Olivia Paulden pinch-hit for Olivia Pressley, reaching on an error that scored Brittany Franks and Henson. Lallier brought home Pressley, who came back into the contest to run, on a sac-fly that gave the Tornados a 9-0 lead heading to the bottom of the fifth inning.
Allen finished off the Vikings 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning to give the Tornados a 9-0 win in five innings.
Brevard will return to action for their home-opener at Ives-Lemel Field on Saturday, February 23 when the Montreat Cavaliers visit. The action is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m., with the second game to follow at 3 p.m.
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