COLUMBUS, Miss. – The Owls softball team defeated Rust College back-to-back in doubleheader action Wednesday afternoon to open the 2019 season at Don Usher Softball Field. The Owls downed the Bearcats 17-0 in the first game and 15-0 in the second.
GAME ONE (W, 17-0)
Owls right-hander Madison Scoggin pitched a no-hitter to begin her senior season on the mound. The Hattiesburg, Miss. native faced 16 batters with no walks for a complete-game to open the 2019 season.
The W started the scoring effort early with two runs in the bottom of the first. Senior infielder Bailee Watts singled during her first turn at-bat and advance on an error by Rust's centerfielder to send Heidi Matthews home and score for 2 RBIs.
In the second, Watts collected her third RBI on a ground out to second base that allowed Anna Lloyd to score and push the Owls ahead 3-0.
The Owls continued the momentum into the rest of the game with a large third inning and runs in the fourth to close the game with the 17-0 victory.
GAME TWO (W, 15-0)
Senior pitcher Ciara Steward showed her experience in her first game on the mound of the 2019 season. Throwing a complete no-hit shutout against Rust College, the Oxford, Miss. native helped her team pick up its second win of the 2019 season with a 15-0 victory.
Steward faced 15 batters, spanning five innings and struck out five in the process. Her five strikeouts against Rust is the second most of career as an Owls with nine being the most against Concordia University – Selma during the 2018 season.
The Owls broke the seal on the game early with six runs scored in the bottom of the first inning. Carolyn "Kendall" Wilkinson ripped a double for 2 RBIs while Madison Fields and Emily Littlejohn both singled for an RBI each. Courtney Hatcher sent Kristen Martin home on a fielder's choice and Kandler Flora scored on a walk by Bailee Watts to finish the scoring for the inning.
In the third inning, the Owls put up an additional five runs by taking advantage of three hits and two Bearcat errors. Flora, Martin, and Mackenzie Harris connected with the ball for singles during their turns at back.
The Owls put in several pinch hitters in the fourth for their last inning at-bat. Rachel Rooney doubled for 3 RBIs and Jana Kay Newell singled for an RBI, allowing Rooney to score. With the four runs in the inning, The W closed the game ahead of Rust 15-0.
The Owls will face Crowley's Ridge on Saturday, Feb. 16 at in Owls Park at Don Usher Field. The first pitch of the doubleheader is set for 1 p.m.