Joseph Marvin: Assistant Sports Information Director
Photo Credit: Tori Brayman '22
BREVARD, N.C. – The Brevard College Tornados Softball team (12-15) earned a doubleheader sweep over NCAA DII Converse College (6-28) on a sunny Wednesday afternoon at Ives-Lemel Family Field.
The Tornados took the first game, 5-2, before exploding for 11 runs in the second game for a comfortable victory, 11-2.
Brevard built off of the success that it enjoyed last weekend when it collected a doubleheader sweep over USA South opponent Agnes Scott College on Saturday in Decatur, Georgia.
Sophomores Marissa Henson and Emily White highlighted a stout offensive performance for the Tornados. Henson went 2-for-3 in game one, including a crucial RBI triple in the bottom of the sixth inning to add insurance to the Tornados' slim lead. White went a perfect 3-for-3 in the second game of Wednesday's twin bill, coming across twice to score in addition to a season-high four RBI performance.
All told, the Tornado offense racked up 18 hits in Wednesday's action, with six being of the extra base variety.
Junior RHP Micayla McCoy (8-7) earned the starting nod for Head Coach Bob Lowe in the first game, going the distance. The victory marked McCoy's eighth of the season, and the 11th time in 2019 that she has pitched a complete game for Brevard.
McCoy allowed seven hits and two runs in her seven innings of work. She struck out five batters in the contest, while not walking a single Valkyrie.
Brevard's offense got started early, as the Tornados put its two baserunners on in the top of the first inning. White moved the runners over to second and third base before Mari Cook stepped in and sent a sacrifice line drive to left-center field, scoring Summer Wilson for the game's first run. McCoy then helped herself out, doubling to left field to plate Sara Lallier, which gave the Tornados a 2-0 lead.
After both sides went down quietly in the second inning, the Valkyries put together their biggest offensive threat of the afternoon. Utilizing a leadoff double in the top of the third inning, Converse utilized small ball, sacrificing the runner over before plating her via a Marissa Martin RBI bunt single, cutting the BC advantage to 2-1. The Valkyries would draw even after a Martin stolen base when the pitcher Hailey Spitler (2-9) singled through the right side to even the contest at 2-2. The Tornado defense had McCoy's back, however, as a ground ball to White turned into a 5-3-2 double play, with Cook gunning down Spitler at the plate.
The tie game wouldn't last long, as back-to-back triples by White and Cook put Brevard on top, 3-2. McCoy took advantage of a Converse fielding miscue, plating BC's fourth run on the next at-bat.
McCoy caught fire in the fourth and fifth innings, retiring six-straight Valkyries, with two coming via strikeout.
The Tornados erased a Converse leadoff single in the top of the sixth inning with a line out double play on a bunt attempt, as McCoy fielded her position well to get out of the jam.
After an Ali Grace Hartman pinch-hit double down the left field line, Henson hit a critical RBI triple to give Brevard some more cushion, 5-2.
The Tornado defense turned its third double play of the game in the top of the seventh inning, helping wrap up a 5-2 victory over the NCAA DII opponent.
Freshman RHP Hartman (2-2) earned her fourth-career start in the pitching circle in the second game of the afternoon. Hartman worked three and two-thirds innings, allowing two runs on seven hits while striking out three batters. Hartman was relieved in the fourth inning by Breana Allen, who worked an inning and a third of one-hit ball to finish the contest, which was decided in five innings by run-rule.
White and McCoy both had multi-hit performances for the Tornados, while White (4 RBI's) and Cook (3 RBI's) led Tornado hitters in runs-batted-in. Hartman and freshman outfielder Jocelyn Folkers each recorded two RBI's in the second game.
Converse struck first offensively, bringing a one-out double around to score via a sacrifice bunt. However, the Valkyries advantage didn't last long as the Tornados chased Converse starting pitcher Martin (2-11) in the first inning after giving up three runs without any outs. After a Converse pitching change, the Tornados scored two more runs to extend their advantage, 5-1.
The Valkyries cut into BC's early lead in the top half of the second frame with an RBI single, cutting BC's margin to 5-2.
White added to her impressive day in the bottom of the second inning, tripling to right-center field to score two Tornados. Folkers singled to extend BC's lead to a commanding 8-2 advantage.
BC's offensive explosion wasn't done there, as the Tornados struck for three more runs in the bottom of the third inning to push its advantage to 11-2.
The Tornado defense turned a key double play in the top of the fifth inning to ensure BC's doubleheader sweep over Converse, taking game two by a final of 11-2.
Brevard will return to USA South Conference action on Saturday, March 30 as Covenant College (7-15, 2-3 USAS) visits Ives-Lemel Family Field for a doubleheader at 1 and 3 p.m.
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