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Sunday May 29th, 2016 9:14PM

Lady Lions claim 2nd straight USA South title

By staff reports
DEMOREST -- The Piedmont College softball team made it two straight USA South regular season crowns earlier today when the nationally ranked Lady Lions swept visiting Averett University who came in as the #2 team in the USA South standings.<br /> <br /> Piedmont used early offense and a solid pitching effort by veteran Brittney Head on Senior Day to take a 5-1 win in game one before rolling to an 8-0 win in five innings to take the encore as the Lady Lions closed out their first outright regular season USA South title after sharing the crown with Ferrum College last season.<br /> <br /> Senior Brittney Head got the win in game one tossing seven innings allowing just one run on three hits as she once again did not issue a walk on the day, the 10th time she has done so in 16 appearances this season. Head also struck out five as she gave Piedmont all the room the home team needed to get an early lead and hang on to it.<br /> <br /> PC got a run in the first inning as Olivia Duncan picked up her league leading 40th RBI as the Lady Lions would score in the opening three innings of the game. Piedmont picked up three in the bottom of the second after Duncan's RBI gave the home team a 1-0 lead after one as Jessica Perschka picked up an RBI single that scored her teammate Laura Carter who had led off the inning with a base hit.<br /> <br /> In their next at-bat, Piedmont's Whitney Wolfe hit a rocket off the glove of the Cougars' second baseman that trickled into the outfield allowing two runners to score and double the lead to 4-0 after two innings. The four-run lead would be more than enough for Head working in the circle, but the Lady Lions added another run in the 3rd as Allison Vaughn stroked a two-out triple which brought senior Lauren Head across home after the veteran catcher had kept the inning alive with her own two-out base hit earlier in the inning. <br /> <br /> Now up 5-0, a Cougar run in the top of 7th came after Averett led off the inning with a triple, but it was too late to try to mount a rally as Brittney Head induced a pair of pop-ups to end game one, a 5-1 win for Piedmont. <br /> <br /> In between games, the twin sister pitcher-catcher combo of Brittney and Lauren were honored with a short ceremony as the two are part of the golden age of Piedmont softball having helped the Lady Lions claim a GSAC tourney title in 2011 and now a pair of USA South regular season crowns. The two also have been instrumental in helping the Green and Gold reach two NCAA National Tournaments as the 9th ranked Lady Lions look poised for another NCAA run with a 33-3 overall record to their name. <br /> <br /> After taking game one, the encore belonged to the hosting Lady Lions as they had distanced themselves in the USA South regular season race with a win against Averett putting the Cougars four back in the loss column and thus clinching the top seed in the upcoming conference championship tournament. <br /> <br /> Piedmont scored in every inning they came up to the plate in game two tabbing one run in the 2nd and 4th innings while posting a pair in the 1st, 3rd, and 5th innings as the contest would be a shortened one with the Lady Lions scoring eight runs before five complete. Combining that offense with the stellar pitching of sophomore Jordin Ellingson who threw all five innings allowing just three hits in the shutout performance, the Lady Lions would be no match for the Cougars who came into the afternoon on a six-game winning streak.<br /> <br /> For Piedmont, the game two win extends their own winning streak to now ten games, their second double digit winning streak of 2014. The Lady Lions took 18 straight from February 25th to March 22nd spanning almost a full month without a loss as PC has claimed wins in 29 of their last 30 games.<br /> <br /> Offensive leaders in game two included Abby Smith who went 2-for-2 with a walk, an RBI, and two runs scored as Piedmont needed only six hits to get their eight runs as the Cougars committed five errors which led to five unearned runs in the encore. Two of the Cougars' five errors came in the bottom of the 5th alone as Tori Mitchell lofted a ball toward right which was dropped allowing Tiffany Sellers to score the 8th and final run of the 8-0 game two win.<br /> <br /> The Lady Lions move to 33-3 on the season with the sweep and are now 21-1 in conference play. Piedmont will host its final doubleheader of the USA South regular season tomorrow when they play Greensboro College starting at 1:00 pm at Walker Athletic Complex. Video coverage will not be provided on the Mane Event Broadcasting Network as plans to air the finale of the Piedmont-LaGrange baseball series are scheduled for tomorrow, but live stats will be provided at PiedmontLions.com.
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