Friday May 27th, 2016 2:55AM

11th-ranked Piedmont softball sweeps USA South rival Huntingdon

By staff reports
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- The Piedmont College softball team swept yet another USA South foe on Sunday afternoon taking two from new member Huntingdon College who came into the day just two games back of the Lady Lions for the top spot in the league standings. PC took a 5-1 win in game one before getting three in the top of the 7th in the encore to win 3-0 as pitching was the name of the game for the visitors who allowed just the lone score in the pair of wins.

Getting the win in the opener was Piedmont's Jordin Ellingson who threw seven complete allowing just the one earned run to move her overall record to now 16-2 in the circle for the Lady Lions. Ellignson walked only one compared to five strikeouts as she has now six strikeouts shy of 100 on the season while having issued only 14 walks on the year.

Piedmont got on the board in the top of the 3rd when an Allison Vaughn home run brought Christine Mobley and Maryrose Burns across the plate for a 3-0 lead in favor of the visitors. A solo shot by the Hawks' Heather McGuirk in the home half of the inning made it 3-1 PC, but that would be the only run scored by hosting Huntingdon on the day.

The Lady Lions added a pair of insurance runs in their next turn at the plate as Olivia Duncan showed why she is one of if not the best hitter in the USA South drawing a bases loaded walk to put Piedmont up 4-1 in the top of the 5th. A sac fly by the pitcher Ellingson on the next at-bat extended the Lady Lions' lead to 5-1, a scoreline that read final as Ellingson would retire three of four batters faced in the final three innings for PC.

After snaring the win in game one, Piedmont went for the sweep in game two but found tough sledding offensively as only five base runners were able to reach safely in the first six innings for PC who left two left in the top of the 6th as chances appeared to running out for the Lady Lions at the plate.

Despite the offensive troubles in the encore, there were no pitching issues as senior Brittney Head took the ball putting up one of her best outings of the season allowing no runs on six hits total while fanning a half dozen as well. Head moves to 12-1 in 2014 and did not issue a walk on the day, the 8th time she has done so this season, as she has given up only two base-on-balls in her last eight games working the circle.

Head allowed a double in the bottom of the 6th with just one out, but was able to induce a flyout to second before striking out the final batter of the inning to give her team one last chance to take the lead.

Ever opportunistic, the Lady Lions responded putting two on with just one out in the top of the 7th after a single by Abby Smith and a walk to Tori Mitchell. A sac bunt by Whitney Wolfe moved both runners in scoring position as Abby Atkinson stepped up to single home Smith before some defensive miscues led to two more runs for PC in the inning as Piedmont took a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the 7th looking to close out the sweep.

Piedmont did just that, winning the encore 3-0 in shutout fashion as the Lady Lions picked up their eighth doubleheader sweep in USA South play this season. The Lady Lions have won 25 of their last 26 and also distanced themselves in the USA South regular season title race as they now sit three games up in the loss column ahead of second place Averett University.

Leading hitters on the day included Christine Mobley who went two for three with two runs scored in the game one, 5-1 win. Mobley scored on the Vaughn home run in the third as Vaughn is currently in the top five in the league in batting average as just a first-year player for PC. The league is led in hitting by Piedmont's Olivia Duncan who is hiting an even .500 on the season.

PC moves to 29-3 on the season and 17-1 in league play with the pair of wins. One more win assures PC of their third 30-win season in the last four years as the Lady Lions continue to pursue their second USA South regular season title in just two years as a conference member.

The Lady Lions now ready for their next doubleheader, a conference matchup at home on Tuesday, April 1st against Covenant College. First pitch at Walker Athletic Complex is set for a 2 p.m. start.
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