DUNCAN, S.C. – The Converse (5-23, 0-4 CC) College softball team fell twice to visiting Barton College (12-13, 2-0 CC) on Saturday afternoon at Tyger River Park. Barton was able to capture the first game by the final of 13-4 before earning the sweep in the nightcap with a 7-3 win.
GAME ONE: CONVERSE 4, BARTON 13
Barton was able to take a quick lead in the top of the first inning. After Hailey Spitler retired the first two batters, Sierra Hearp singled to center and came around to score after a throwing error by the Valkyries defense. Converse came back to tie the game in the bottom of the first. With two outs, Gabrielle Cuevas singled through the left side and advanced to second on an error by the Bulldogs. That set up Allison Plafcan's RBI single down the left field line.
After a scoreless second for both teams, Barton put up three runs in the top of the third to push ahead 4-1. The Bulldogs benefited from three hits and an error during the at-bat. The Valkyries loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the frame, but two groundouts ended the threat and the score remained 4-1 in favor of BC.
That lead ballooned to 9-1 in the fourth after Barton put up five runs on four hits, including three doubles. Converse, needing at least one run to stay alive, put together a solid bottom of the fifth, scoring three times to close the deficit to 9-4. Cuevas added an RBI single, while Plafcan knocked in two with a hard shot to centerfield.
However, that would be the last time a Valkyrie touched the plate while Barton tacked on four runs over the final two innings to take game one by the final of 13-4.
GAME TWO: CONVERSE 3, BARTON 7
Converse was the aggressor early in game two, posting a single run in the bottom of the first. Plafcan continued her good day at the plate after ripping a single up the middle, allowing Spitler to come around and give the Vals a 1-0 lead.
That single-run lead remained intact over the first 3.2 innings, but with two outs in the top of the fourth, Barton pushed across the game-tying run on a wild pitch before taking the lead in the fifth with X runs, the big blow coming off a two-run homerun by Ashley Ferguson.
Plafcan brought the Valkyries a run closer in the bottom of the sixth after connecting on her first collegiate homerun, a solo shot to right field to lead off the frame. However, Barton got that run back plus one in the top of the seventh to push back out to a 7-2 lead. Cuevas added a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh, but it was too little, too late as the Valkyries dropped game two by the final of 7-3.
Converse will make the quick turnaround to Conference Carolinas action tomorrow afternoon, hosting Mount Olive at Tyger River Park. The first game of that doubleheader is scheduled for 1 p.m.