By Matthew D. Stokes
BerryVikings.com Staff Writer
ROME, Ga. – Piedmont came out on top in both games of a Saturday afternoon softball doubleheader against Berry at South Ford Field. Game scores were 7-6 and 6-3.
In game one, Berry right-hander Caillee Shamoun got the starting nod for Berry in the pitcher's circle and labored through three innings. Piedmont took advantage, battering Shamoun's pitches for seven hits and three earned runs in three innings.
Shamoun (11-3) departed after the third, giving way to Andrea Cole, who retired 10 of the first 11 hitters she faced. Through the sixth, Cole surrendered only a single hit and run, leaving her team down by four runs. Then Cole's teammates began to put some runs on the board.
After loading the bases on three straight singles, Berry's next two hitters each fouled out to the catcher. Courtney Hodges followed by clearing the bases with a three-run double to right center, drawing Berry within a run of Piedmont at 4-3.
After starting so strong, Cole ran into trouble in the seventh, allowing three base hits and three runs. Piedmont's lead again stretched out to four runs entering the Vikings' last time to bat.
But Berry started to get going with two outs in the seventh, punctuated by Lacey Herring's three-run home run that barely hooked around the left field foul pole. Her blast cut Piedmont's lead to one at 7-6. After Krista Woody's single put the potential tying run on base, Brittney Head struck out Denice Aleman to shut down the rally.
Cole threw four innings, surrendering four hits and four earned runs. Head picked up the win for Piedmont, hurling a complete game. She scattered 12 hits over those seven innings and gave up six earned runs.
Stoll and Herring stroked three hits apiece for Berry while Sara Vigue and Hodges each had two. For Piedmont Jamie Dennis ripped three hits and Kristin Hamby had two.
"Our bats were a little bit slow to start," said Berry head coach Cori Thiermann. "We let them score early, which put the momentum on their side. We wanted to grab it back and we did. I thought the girls did a pretty job of staying in there through the bottom half of the game."
Shamoun and Berry started game two much more convincingly. After Shamoun set down the first three Piedmont batters in order, Jessica Washington slugged Amanda Posey's third pitch of the game over the right field fence for a leadoff home run.
Shamoun continued her stellar pitching in her second outing of the day, retiring 17 out of the first 19 hitters she faced. She had a no-hitter through five and two-thirds before Taylor Morgan lined a double to right center. Emily Cheek then proceeded to break up Shamoun's shutout bid with a RBI single, but Berry's pitcher evaded further damage by inducing an inning-ending groundout.
After a leadoff walk to kick off Piedmont's seventh, Shamoun exited with her team ahead 3-1. She pitched six-plus innings of two-hit ball and allowed two runs.
With Shamoun out of the pitching circle, Piedmont pounced on Cole to the tune of three hits and four runs, turning a two-run deficit into a three-run lead. Berry failed to respond in its last time to bat, ending the game and completing Piedmont's two-game sweep.
"We went into the top of the seventh in a position exactly where we wanted to be," Thiermann said. "However, we had a little trouble closing and we couldn't get our momentum back."
Cole (5-5) was charged with the loss for Berry. She pitched one inning and allowed four runs (one earned). Posey earned the win after lasting six innings and allowing five hits and three earned runs. Head, Piedmont's game one starter, closed out game two for the save, pitching a hitless inning.
Washington rapped out two hits and scored two runs for Berry. Taylor led Piedmont with two hits and two runs.
Berry will resume its homestand Sunday when it faces LaGrange, beginning at 2 p.m.
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