Softball: Panthers take on 12th-ranked Piedmont in USA South doubleheader

Softball: Panthers take on 12th-ranked Piedmont in USA South doubleheader

LaGrange took on nationally-ranked Piedmont in a USA South doubleheader Thursday at the LaGrange College Softball Complex.

The Panthers (12-6, 5-5 USA South) took Piedmont, ranked 12th in Division III, (16-2, 10-0 USA South) into extra innings in the second game before falling 3-2. The Lady Lions won the first game 8-1. 

Piedmont built a 2-0 lead off Panther starter Kara Patterson in the second game. Olivia Wolfe (5-3) relieved Patterson with two outs in the third inning after the Lady Lions had pushed across their second run. Wolfe got the final out of the inning and pitched the rest of the game.

The Panthers got a run back in their half of the third. With one out, Alison Jiles hit a solo home run to right center off Brittany Head to make it 2-1. The home run was Jiles' team-leading fourth of the season and tied her for the conference lead.

Dani Gravett doubled to left center to start the Panthers' bottom of the fourth. She moved over to third on a wild pitch and came home with the tying run as Brooke Turner grounded out to second.

The two teams went to the eighth inning still tied 2-2. Using the tie-breaker format by placing a runner on second, the Lady Lions were able to get the go-ahead run across on a sacrifice fly by Lauren Carter.

In the Panthers' half of the eighth, Wolfe sacrificed Courtney Beshel over to third. But the Lady Lions' Jordin Ellingson (11-1) got the final two outs to seal the win.

Ellingson went the distance in getting the win in the first game. Gravett (3-3) started for the Panthers, pitching into the fifth inning, allowing six runs. Amanda Stukel gave up two unearned runs in the final 2-1/3 innings.

The Panthers got their only run in the seventh inning. Keeley Murray walked with one out. Lindsay Hogan, running for Murray, went to second on a wild pitch and came around to score on Amanda Morier's double to the gap in right center.

The Panthers play at Covenant in another USA South doubleheader Saturday.