DUNCAN, S.C. – The Converse College softball team (3-7) put together its best offensive performance of the year in a dominating sweep of St. Andrews (4-10) on Friday afternoon at Tyger River Park. Converse fell behind in both games, but was able to get the bats going, defeating the Knights 6-2 and 9-5.
GAME ONE: St. Andrews 2, Converse 6
After the Knights went quietly in the top of the first, Converse put together a mini threat with two outs in the bottom of the inning. The first two batters were retired before Allison Plafacn just missed going yard, doubling to deep right center. Destiny Heard followed that with a four-pitch walk, but a popout to the infield left the game scoreless.
St. Andrews took advantage of the missed chance, posting a single run in the second after Lexi Dawson doubled to left center, allowing Asucena Trujillo to score.
Converse came right back in the bottom of the frame, scoring two runs to take its first lead of the contest. Meredith Quarles led off with a double to left field before Hailey Spitler reached on a fielding error by the shortstop. McKayla Davis moved the two runners up with a sacrifice bunt, while Moriah Gomez and Marissa Martin laid down beautiful back-to-back bunt singles to score Quarles and Spitler.
Quarles wasn't finished hitting, roping an RBI-double in the bottom of the third to pad the Vals lead to 3-1. Plafcan and Heard came through in the fourth inning for the Purple and Gold, adding an RBI-double and single, respectively, pushing the lead to 5-1 after four.
Martin collected another RBI in the bottom of the sixth with a perfectly executed bunt single, giving Converse the 6-1 lead. St. Andrews threatened in the top of the seventh, but was able to only push across one run, dropping the game to the Valkyries, 6-2.
GAME TWO: St. Andrews 5, Converse 9
St. Andrews struck for one run in the top of the first on an RBI groundout by Brennan Broadway. However, just as it did in the first game, Converse battled back with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second. Gabrielle Cuevas led the inning off with a single to short before rounding the bases on a double to deep left by Quarles. Spitler laid down a squeeze bunt, which scored Quarles.
The Knights came back with two runs of their own in the top of the third, capitalizing on a pair of defensive miscues by the Valkyries. Converse blew the game open with a five-spot in the bottom of the third. The first four batters of the inning reached safely before Cuevas connected on a sacrifice fly to center. Spitler produced an RBI groundout followed by a two-RBI single by Davis.
Converse pushed across two more runs in the bottom of the sixth after McElrath scored on a wild pitch and Cuevas laced a single to left field to plate Plafcan. St. Andrews tried to make things interesting in the top of the seventh, scoring one run, but Daija Irizarry finished the game off and gave the Valkyries the sweep.
Converse will return to the field tomorrow afternoon, traveling to face the Trojans of Anderson University. First pitch of the doubleheader is scheduled for 1 p.m.