Panthers fall in extra innings

By Kevin Eckleberry

March 14, 2014

The Piedmont Lions left LaGrange College with their perfect USA South record intact.

Facing the host Panthers in a conference doubleheader, the Lions won the first game 8-1 before finishing the sweep with a 3-2 extra-inning win.

The Lions (16-2), who are ranked 12th nationally in NCAA Division III, are now 10-0 in the USA South, while the Panthers (12-6) fell to 5-5 in the conference.

The Panthers found themselves trailing 2-0 in the second game, but they fought back to tie it.

In the bottom of the third, Alison Jiles connected for a solo home run to get the Panthers within a run.

The Panthers pushed the tying run across an inning later.

Dani Gravett led off with a double, she moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a Brooke Turner groundout.

It remained 2-2 into the eighth inning, with each team beginning its at-bat with a runner on second using the tie-breaker format.

The Lions got a run in on a sacrifice fly by Lauren Carter.

In the bottom of the eighth, Courtney Beshel moved to third on an Olivia Wolfe bunt with one out, but she was stranded there, and Piedmont escaped with the win.

Wolfe did a terrific job in relief of Kara Patterson for the Panthers.

The Lions already had two runs in and were threatening in the third inning when Wolfe came into the game and got the final out.

Wolfe didn’t give up another run until the eighth inning.

The first game was all Piedmont.

Jordin Ellingson pitched a complete game for Piedmont, with LaGrange College managing just a single run in the seventh inning, with Amanda Morier’s double bringing in Keeley Murray.

The Panthers will try to get back above .500 in the conference when they visit Covenant on Saturday.