Softball: Panthers open USA South schedule with sweep of Meredith

The LaGrange softball team opened its USA South schedule with a sweep of visiting Meredith on Saturday at the LaGrange College Softball Complex.

The Panthers (9-1, 2-0 USA South) downed the Avenging Angels (2-6, 0-2 USA South) 4-3 and 5-3 to push their winning streak to nine games. The Panthers will host William Peace in a USA South doubelheader Sunday beginning at 1 p.m.

Olivia Wolfe (3-0) pitched a complete game three-hitter in the first game. She allowed a two-run home run in the first inning but only two more hits the rest of the way. Wolfe walked two and struck out two.

Meredith took that 2-0 lead into the bottom of the third inning. Adrienne Little reached on an error and Brooke Turner was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Alison Jiles followed with a long home run to left field and a 3-2 lead. It was Jiles' and the team' third home run of the season.

The Avenging Angels tied the game 3-3 with a run in the sixth. In the bottom of the sixth, the Panthers got the eventual game-winning run.

Wolfe drew a one out walk and moved up to second on a ground out by Danielle Newbern. Keeley Murray got the clutch two-out hit with a single to right center, driving in pinch-runner Savannah Thomley with the go-ahead run.

In the seventh, Macy Allen just missed a game-tying home run with a one-out double off the right field fence. But Lori Cole lined into a game-ending double play as Allen was doubled up at second.

After getting just four hits in the first game, the Panthers had five hits in the first inning as they scored all five of their runs. Wolfe, Murray and Amanda Morier had RBI hits in the inning.

Dani Gravett (3-1) pitched four innings to get the win. She scattered six hits and gave up two runs. Gravett walked one and struck out three.

Gravett worked out of a bases loaded jam in the third without giving up a run. She left after the fourth when the Avenging Angels put together four hits to score twice to make it 5-2.

Kara Patterson came on in the fifth with two runners on and no outs. She gave up a run-scoring  single. Patterson retired the next two batters to end the inning.

In the sixth, the Avenging Angels put runners on  second and third with none out. But Patterson got a strike out, a foul pop up and a ground out to escape the jam. 

Patterson retired the side in the seventh to close out the sweep and get her first save of the season.

The Panthers had eight hits in the game. Murray and Morier each had two hits. Murray had a double included in her hits.