ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Greenville College softball opened their 2012 season on Thursday with a tough 7-0, 10-5 defeat by the Spartans of MBU in St. Louis. GC Senior Brya Irvin headlined the ladies in the double-dip, blasting two homeruns at the plate.
Irvin, a four-year letterwinner from Woodlawn, Ill., undoubtedly served up the Panther’s most impressive performance in the contests. The centerfielder hit a combined 4-for-7 on the day, with three RBI, two runs, and a pair of clutch homeruns that kept GC within striking distance in game two.
In the opener, both squads struggled offensively out of the gate in what proved to be a picture perfect day at the park on the campus of NAIA Missouri Baptist (3-3). Greenville College trailed by only one run heading into the bottom of the fourth, but a flurry of MBU production at the plate soon handed the Panthers a stiff 5-0 margin. The Spartans would add insurance runs in the fifth and sixth and eventually clinch the 7-0 win.
Senior pitcher Lindsey Schuberth showcased her versatility in game one, hurling a complete six innings and batting out of the three-spot in the Panther’s lineup. Schuberth went 2-for-3 at the plate, while striking out four from the mound. Toeing the rubber, the senior surrendered nine hits that produced seven runs while receiving little run support in the defeat.
In the capper the women turned in a total team performance, with eight different Panthers contributing at least one of the squad’s 10 hits. The contest looked promising early as Greenville College knotted the game at 2-2 in the top of the third on a two-run shot that jumped off the bat of Irvin and over the left field wall. However, MBU responded in the bottom of frame three with a healthy 3 run effort that reset the score 5-2. GC would go on to add a run in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings but would fail to match the steady addition of runs that the Spartan’s applied. The Panther’s eventually fell 10-5, surrendering the sweep to the hosts.
Aside from Irvin’s strong 3-for-4 efforts at the plate, several other Panther’s joined the hit parade in game two’s tough loss. Sophomore leadoff Mattie Fairchild batted 1-for-3 with a run and walk, while Schuberth and freshman Reanna Weidner each added one of the team’s five runs after successfully reaching base. Freshman outfielder Amy Sheets and third-year infielder Ashley Sharp each combined for clutch RBI’s in the late innings to help the Black & Orange.
On the mound for the Panther’s freshman transfer Jessica Laubecher tossed five full innings while registering three strikeouts before being relieved in the sixth by senior Angela Sheets. Laubecher allowed 10 runs on 14 hits in the loss, but showed poise throughout the battle, even picking up a key hit while at bat.
“I think we played well,” stated head coach Tenequa Martin. “MBU is a good team, and a team that has already played several games this year, and although it is always tough to lose I was very proud of our women and their effort.”
Greenville College softball (0-2) will aim to bounce back on Saturday, March 10 as they prepare for their 2012 home opener against Stephens College. Game one of the double-header is scheduled for 11:00 am with the capper to follow at 1:00 pm.